our Numbers 21: 4-9 or Philippians 2: 6-11; Psalm 78 and John 3: 13-17
The cross - the symbol of our faith. A symbol that so many wear so proudly around their necks, a symbol personalized in the crucifix hanging in homes, churches, and other gathering spaces. But 2000 years ago, it would have been something viewed with fear.
For the cross was an instrument of torture, used to punish criminals and political foes. Death by crucifixion was deemed to be so horrible that the Roman Empire would not allow its own citizens to die that way - it was reserved for all those that were its subjects or slaves.
Jesus died on the cross. On a cross would hang the body of the author of our salvation. He died for us - and then He saved us. For we Christians, this instrument of fear has become the symbol of our hope and salvation. The cross became our triumph. As that glorious hymn sings, "Lift high the cross".