Friday, August 17, 2012

Why Is The Cross Offensive?

In a USA Today article this week an image of a steel cross in front of a September 11th memorial is causing controversy. The purpose of the cross is that it is part of the wreckage that is being displayed as a historical piece amongst many other artifacts. As one can guess, it is an American Atheists group, big surprise there, that is attempting to sue the memorial & museum. Their claim is that the displaying of a cross would be "unconstitutional." Click here for the full article.

Their claim of the displaying of the cross as being unconstitutional will not hold up in the court battle in my opinion, but that result is not my purpose here. The real truth if you ask me is that the atheist are against the displaying of a cross because of what it represents. The cross is offensive. The Apostle Paul referred to "the offense of the cross," which he did not want removed, in Galatians 5:11.


First, the cross is offensive because of the type of people that were crucified on a cross. The worst of the worst of criminals in Roman society. The fact that the God of the universe would have anything to do with such a type of penalty was an offense. The image of a crucified man represented weakness, shame, and disgrace. Christ being crucified was both a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:23).

Second, the cross is offensive because it exposes our own spiritual condition. The cross is humiliating to us as man because it shows that there is absolutely nothing that we can do in order to earn Gods' favor. It says that even our good works are like filthy rags (Isa. 64:6); which also reveals that the human nature is not good but rather sinful. This make the cross, the gospel, offensive because in our best efforts we will always fail and are lost. It took the death of Jesus on the cross in order to have any means of justification before God. So we are helpless and lost in our own sin without the cross.

Third, the cross is offensive because it is exclusive in its message. The cross claims that the only way of justification before God is through the death of Jesus on the cross. There is no other form of forgiveness given so stop trying to display your own righteousness (filthy rags). It is offensive to mankind and especially this Atheists group to claim that Jesus is the only way of salvation and the only way to have a restored relationship with God.

The cross is offensive for many more reasons than the three brief reasons we examined above. Without the cross we lose a significant part of the salvation message we proclaim. The offense as Paul stated in Galatians 5:11 is one that is meant to last forever; because the message of the cross is offensive to all men everywhere throughout history. And until Christ himself returns and all eyes are fully opened, it will only continue to be offensive to those that are perishing.

1 comment:

  1. The Christian view of the crucifixion is offensive because it ignores what it was: an execution. Millions of people were executed before Christ was put to death, and Christ's death might have mattered had it really changed things, but untold millions have been executed since. Do you really feel Christ's "sacrifice" means something to a person standing at the edge of a pit, perhaps with his or her children at their side, waiting for the guns to end their lives, as has happened so many times in the past 100 years?