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Four Reasons Why The Cross Is A Better Symbol Than The Empty Tomb!

We see them everywhere, hanging around people’s necks, tattooed on skin, printed on T-shirts, on stationary, and in front of church buildings. The cross has come to mean different things to different people. It can be a symbol of peace and love. To some, it represents hate.

Since the celebration of Christ’s death on a cross along with His burial, resurrection, and ascension are days away, I was pondering the cross and empty tomb, and I wondered why don’t we use an empty tomb as our symbol. After all, without the tomb being empty, we would have no hope, and Jesus would not be at the right hand of the Father, waiting to return and gather His people for eternity.

It seems a far stretch to think of the tomb as our symbol despite Jesus not being there. So, I will look at the cross, why it is a better symbol than the empty tomb, and why we should be thankful for it.

“The empty tomb would be a strange symbol for a religion which believed that its founder had conquered death and risen from the grave. But the empty tomb is not our only symbol, and we can never forget that it was the cross, not the empty tomb, which first revealed to man the power of God’s love.” James Stalker

Without The Cross, There Is No Sacrifice

The cross is a tree or two pieces of wood nailed together. That’s it! So, why all the fuss? In the ancient days, crosses were used as a means to execute criminals. The victims were left hanging on them to warn those who would pass by.

Paul wrote, “Cursed is everything that hangs on a tree.” Galatians 3:13.

What does that mean? Paul is conveying something to the church at Galatia linked to why Christ was nailed to one of these things. He was cursed, but the Bible tells us He took on our curse. He literally became our curse.

But, more than that, the cross became an altar or place of sacrifice. We can point to many scriptures, but Romans 5:8 and Galatians 2:20 are a couple of good ones. In the Old Testament, the altar was where the sacrifice was laid. The animal had its throat cut, and the blood was sprinkled on the altar.

It is the blood that makes atonement for sins. Thus, the cross became the altar for the sacrifice that would abolish the need for more sacrifices. Jesus’ blood was the only blood that the Father would accept for the atonement of our sins. The cross was the altar where the body of Jesus was nailed so the Father could look down and accept or reject His sacrifice. Without an altar, there would be no pleasing sacrifice for the Father to accept, and we would continue in our sins and would have to continue to offer animals regularly.

The Cross Demonstrates Christ’s Love

The cross is also the place where Jesus demonstrated His love for mankind for all time. The Old Testament is not just a bunch of fictional stories compiled to make us feel good. The entirety of The Old Testament points to the coming of Jesus and His death on the cross. It also depicts Him suffering, but rising from the dead and conquering death and the grave.

Why would He do this? What God would die for His servants/devotees. Certainly not Molech, Baal, Ra, Mirtha, or any of the ancient or modern gods. They demanded worship, but there was no relationship, no intimacy, and no love.

We all know John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in hIm should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. So, dying for the sins of all people so that they can live and fellowship with Him and the Father eternally seemed to be a cause for joy for Jesus.

Once again, He could die on the cross, and that could be the end of it. But the cross is no good without the empty tomb. But the empty tomb is not necessary without the cross, which means suffering, bleeding, punishment, and death. So the cross symbolizes Christ’s love for us, period.

The Cross Is A Throne For A King

It has been used for centuries to represent Jesus Christ- our King. Contrary to popular belief, the cross was not meant to be a symbol of shame or defeat but rather a throne for Jesus Christ. He was given a crown of thorns and declared King of the Jews, but His actual throne would come through His death on the cross. Let us explore this powerful symbol and its meaning for Christians today!

After dying on the cross, Jesus was buried, but as we know, He rose from the grave after three days. Several hundred people witnessed this resurrection and return to life over the next forty days. After that, Jesus ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. He is there ruling and reigning over the earth, but He is not present here.

He rules through the Holy Spirit living in those who have chosen to accept His free gift of salvation and serve Him. When we accept Him, we accept Him as King, Savior, and Lord. When He was alive on the earth the first time, He had no home, nowhere to lay His head. Perhaps the cross was His only Home. It was where He demonstrated His rulership over everything in the heaven, earth, and even death, hell, and the grave.

Without the cross, there would be no reason to anticipate Jesus’ return to set up His eternal throne in Jerusalem and rule as King of the nations, King of Israel, and King of Kings. No earthly king could (or would) do what He did when he laid down His life for His people. It takes more than a crown and a scepter to reign eternally as King of Kings.

The Cross Means Complete Freedom

Finally, we come to the question of freedom and what that means to a Christian now, in this life? Every believer will tell you, “Christ purchased our freedom from sin and death,” While that is true, unfortunately, we have not been taught the whole story. If freedom from sin and its penalties and living with the Lord eternally were all it was about, why don’t we just die and ‘go to heaven’ as soon as we are saved?

Jesus purchased the key to living the kingdom of heaven lifestyle in order for us to live it out now. When John preached, “The Kingdom of God is at hand,” he said it has come near or is manifesting. That means the kingdom has arrived but not in its fullest dimension. It is here in partial fulfillment.

Because it has not fully arrived, we remain in a battle with forces of darkness known as demons, principalities, fallen angels, and such. These rebel forces are real, and their job is to keep us from walking out the kingdom life to its fullest. Thus we face life-controlling or emotional issues like rejection, shame, guilt, fear, pride, rebellion, jealousy, witchcraft, sexual perversion, the occult, greed, etc.

Chrisy purchased our freedom from these strongholds, and in the same manner, He obtained complete healing as part of the package. Just as we are in a spiritual battle, our bodies are subject to decay and death because of the sinful nature and the fall of mankind. But Christ wants us to live disease-free in this age. We do not have to wait for a new body, but we will get one at the rapture.

Enjoy The Gift Of The Cross

Christ paved the way for you and me to live free from sin, sickness, death, emotional strongholds and with victory over temptations of every manner. There we ought to be thankful for the cross, and when we see it, remember everything He has given us and what He endured to give it to us. Salvation, healing, deliverance, and a joyful life are gifts for us to enjoy now.

Published by Joseph Floyd

I am a disciple of Christ, Husband, Father of 3 grown daughters. My wife and have a heart for the nation's and we long to see every nation worshipping Jesus around the throne. I enjoy writing, languages, international culinary of all kinds, travel, gardening, and cooking. My goal is to see the church and the nations prepared for the King's return, Jesus Christ.

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