9/11 and the Cross

Last weekend we watched the movie 9/11 as a family.  I don’t want to offer a critique of the movie as I seriously doubt that any two-hour movie will ever be able to capture the
enormous *thud* that dropped into the hearts of Americans that morning when human
innocence was savagely plundered and annihilated.  (I can say that I nearly turned the movie off a few times as offensive language seemed overused.)

What captured my heart in the movie was the Marine in Connecticut who sat inside a church and stared up at the cross that hung up front.  He told the pastor/priest beside
him that he felt called to go help at the World Trade Center and, in the end, was the person who found the two police officers buried in the rubble.

The cross was displayed here and there and flashed over the screen a couple of times throughout the movie and, as I’m sure you remember, people rallied around the hope of the cross and church attendance skyrocketed during the month of September, 2011.  Perhaps the most poignant memory of the cross from the horrific scenes from 9/11 is the picture that shows workmen at Ground Zero lifting a few steel beams that had somehow dropped into the rubble and formed the shape of a cross.


Of course, a national atheist group filed a lawsuit to block the inclusion of the 9/11 cross from a memorial at the World Trade Center site.  It’s especially meaningful
considering the love that the cross represents that, erected at Ground Zero, stood as a statement of suffering love against religious hatred.

So what is my point?
My point is that when we lift up the cross, we lift up two polar opposites:

 

1.  Hope to those being saved

2.  Offense to the perishing

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to  us who are being saved it is the power of God (I Corinthians 1:17).

If we lift up the cross, there will be reactions from both.  So, is it worth it to us as a
believer in Jesus Christ to lift the cross for the few that will respond?  Is it worth it to us as a believer to take the chance that someone will be offended?

The Apostle Paul (a highly educated atheist in his early life) said, “For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18).”

I say, “So what?”  Jesus has enemies.  What else is new?  Do we hide the cross in fear of offending someone?  Or do we lift the cross in hope of helping someone?  Where is our
backbone?  Where is our compassion for the lost?

If I am being dramatic here, I am not alone.  In closing I share with you the dramatic words of the famous 19th century preacher, Charles Spurgeon:

“Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our  exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and
unprayed for.”

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About Lift the Cross of Jesus!

My day job is writing--I'm an author and publisher of a number of books. More on that later. But there is nothing of greater importance to me than the early morning hours I spend with the Creator of the Universe. Although He knows everything there is to know, His greatest delight isn't to give us knowledge, but to give us love. My highest joy is to watch the sun rise with notebook in hand and write the words he speaks to my heart. I want to share some of those words with you here . . . words on the cross.
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5 Responses to 9/11 and the Cross

  1. Powerful blog, Hope. Prior to reading this I was praying for you that you would not lose the focus on the cross…aware of its power and significance in my own life. It’s only as we believers stay on the cross (dead to ourselves) that the power of the cross can be revealed to others. Thank you for these words. They are a needed reminder.

    Like

  2. Larry Who says:

    Spurgeon also said: “The Bible suffers more from its proponents rather than its opponents.”

    Sadly, that is also true about the cross and its message.

    Like

    • Wow, Larry, what a quote. It makes me want to tear all of his books out of boxes in my garage and read them! My dad was an avid reader of Charles Spurgeon. I think you’ve given us all a “Selah” moment here. Thanks for contributing.

      Like

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