Today, the image of the cross has lost its horror. The true message of the cross is death. How many of you are either wearing a cross today, or have a cross on your Bible? How nice. But what if we began to sell little miniature models of an electric chair in our bookstore, would you wear one? Or what if someone made a syringe of poison and started offering it as jewelry to wear? Can’t you hear someone walking up to you saying, “I love your electric chair, where did you get it?” Or would you say, “Have you seen my James Avery lethal injection syringe?”
Today, the cross has become benign—a piece of harmless jewelry. In Jesus’ time, it was a horrible, agonizing tortuous mode of execution. It was the noose, the electric chair, the lethal injection of His day. In the time of Jesus when you saw someone carrying a cross it meant one and only one thing-they were as good as dead.