This is a rehash of my 2019 Easter article – we are reminded our need to “plant the cross.”
I was reading the other day an academic text that stated in the first few centuries that the Cross was a sign that Christ was Victor. Christians would claim an area for Jesus and thrust a Cross into the soil to declare that territory belonged to Jesus.
Without sounding triumphant, I am personally drawn to this image. Easter dramatically reminds us that the Cross is a picture and statement about the atonement of Jesus Christ for us. He took our place! However, when we look at early church art, we realise the empty cross was primarily a symbol of victory.
I sense we need that picture today. Revelation 19:1-8 reminds us that our world can appear godless. The great prostitute is a warning signal of godless institutions as well as godless ideology and messages. Sometimes that sense is overwhelming. However, Revelation declares that all have overcome by the Lamb and his Bride. Is it time for the people of God to place a cross outside some of our places of power and centres of learning and declare the Lamb and the Bride have or will overcome.
Psalm 53 speaks likewise. In our society there is a flouting of God’s ways and even persecution of people. Against such actions let us in our mind and prayers, plant a cross, and where possible with the power of the Spirit, work together for the justice of the Lamb.
In our country, none of this can happen without firstly entering into an honest evaluation of the sins of the Church. We need to personally, and collectively plant a few crosses before the world will listen. In Australia, we have leading Church officials sentenced for serious and hideous sexual crimes.
I believe that with the Spirit of God a reformation is taking place. I hear of people claiming areas, also I hear of people through their lives and ministry reclaiming institutions for Jesus. They are “planting” the cross!
We are reminded from scripture that we are to live in the spirit of the Victor Christ. As Revelation declares “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.”
Rev Dr Ross Clifford AM is the Principal of Morling College (NSW Baptist) and author of numerous books many of which focus on Christian Apologetics. He is a Vice President of the Baptist World Alliance, President of the Asian Baptist Association, an acclaimed international preacher and speaker, a columnist in many Christian publications, winner of many national and international awards and for many years the Sunday evening Sydney Radio 2CH host. Ross is married to Bev, father and grand father.