PASTOR’S PERSPECTIVE: “DISAPPEARING ACT FOR THE MAGNIFICIENT MAGNET!”
Somebody stole the cross. Go figure! Well that was a news story that got my attention a few years ago. The missing cross was a six-foot-tall metal structure that was embedded in rock and concrete, and it was perched high upon a Sunrise Rock in the Mojave Desert. Veterans actually placed it there to honor those who had died fighting for their country. And wow! It was there for 75 years-no problem. People who did not want it there argued against it all the way to the Supreme court. And for the time being the Justices said that it could stay. But somebody just went up there and stole it! It’s Crazy! Who stole the cross? When I heard that I got to thinking…and something much more troubling occurred to me. The cross has gone missing a lot of places these days; places that matter a lot more to God than on a mountain in the Mojave Desert! I listen to a lot of Christian radio programs; a lot of Christian television programs and I hear very little about the cross. I listen to a lot of Christian talk today and there is quite an emphasis on how to have a great marriage, how to raise your kids, how to manage your money, how to have a good self-image, but hardly one reference to the Cross! I hear some great Bible teaching on subjects that are deep and powerful, but the cross was on the margins or not even on the page! The emphasis today is on important things like justice for the oppressed, compassion for the poor, help for families, and make no mistake, these things are a priority to our Loving Heavenly Father! But we seldom hear about the Cross-God’s game-changer for a sin-broken planet, and that is the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Sadly, I think of lost people that I have known for a long time. We have talked a lot about a lot of things! But somehow how there never seems to be an appropriate moment to talk about the Cross of Christ! To let them know He choose to die, such a death, not as a victim, but as a vicarious substitute. He died for them. He died for me. He took the deserved judgment for our sins! But somehow I seldom get around to the cross! The cross is stolen from the conversation. I suspect I am not alone! Christians talk about their Church, their faith, their worship, but not much about our Savior! Somebody stole the Cross! I know who stole it! It is the one that Jesus talked about-in John 10:10 he said, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy”. The devil hates the Cross. The Bible says, “that he disarmed the principalities, and powers, making a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the Cross!”. Charles Spurgeon called the Cross “the Magnificent Magnet”. In John 12:12 Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself!”. No wonder Satan encourages us to talk about anything we choose…just don’t mention that Cross! Talk about your Church. Talk about your faith. Talk about family values. Shy away from that cross! The enemy of our souls knows its power, and he does whatever he can to erase the cross from our view! He has stolen that cross. That is the great disappearing act of the Magnificent Magnet!
Now the veterans were outraged that the cross was stolen from the hill in the Mojave Desert. We should be outraged too!-About the fact that the cross has been stolen from our hearts, from our minds, from our worship services, from our Bible studies, from our Christian radio and TV programing, but most of all from our daily conversations with the very people who need to hear about it! I Corinthians 1:18 says “The message of the Cross is the Power of God unto Salvation”. Mel Gibson did a powerful movie on The Passion of the Christ. It was controversial. It was criticized, but it changed the lives of millions who saw it! So will our conversations about the Cross. We need to be Passionate about the Passion of the Cross! Just as passionate as the World and the Devil is about stealing it away from our consciousness! Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross! The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference. I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary. Gold City used to sing a Gospel song entitled- “It’ Still the Cross!” It still is! The Cross will never lose its power! At the point of being redundant-let me share my favorite quote about the cross. It is by George McCloud, in his book Only One Way Left, “The cross must be raised again in the center of the marketplace, as well as on the steeple of the Church, I am recovering the fact that Jesus was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves, on the town garbage heap, at a crossroads so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. At the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble, because that is where He died, and that is what He died about! That is where His followers ought to be, and what His followers should be about!” Malcom Muggeridge, in his book Jesus Rediscovered, admitted that he had let the devil steal the cross from his heart, when he wrote “I should have worn it over my heart, carried it as my precious standard, never to be wrested out of my hands…it should have been my cult, my uniform, my language, my life! I have no excuse!” Neither do we! We need to reclaim the Stolen Cross! We need to raise again the “Magnificent Magnet”! The World is in desperate need of the saving power it radiates to all who will “Look and Live!”