“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)
You do realize that cross that you wear around your neck, have hanging in your house or have tattooed someplace on your body is a symbol of shame, do you not? The encouragement comes from the One who hung upon that cross, not from that symbol of shame.
If it were possible to create an open tomb that one could buy on a chain and then wear, that would be a much more relevant symbol of our Lord’s victory that day over death, but I have yet to see one anywhere, and even if I did, I would not wear it. Our actions and words are the representation that we serve the Risen Savior, not the markings from a tattoo parlor or what hangs around our neck.
The only reason I could ever see wearing one would be so that a conversation could be initiated with someone, but have you ever tried that? The next time you meet someone who has the symbol of shame on their person, ask them this, or something similar to it, “I see you’re wearing a cross. Do you serve the Lord Jesus Christ?” My guess is you will get a puzzling look, and the next time you meet them they will either not be wearing that cross, or they will find a reason to avoid you.
“I go to church, I sing the songs, I wear a cross, that makes me a Christian.” “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20)
Wearing a cross makes you no more a Christian than getting baptized does or repeating the words that you were told to say, no act that we can perform can save us. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
I have often wondered how many people will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at the Great White Throne of Judgement with the excuse that they wore a cross nearly every day, far too many I fear. There are many who wear that symbol of shame, at least in their minds, to ward off evil, and most of them can be seen performing the so-called “sign of the cross” on their person, an act the cult of Romanism has taught them to believe will protect them in some way. It never ceases to amaze me when I see someone do that, beyond deceived is what comes to mind.
Crucifixion was one of the most painful and shameful ways to die, the person was hung or nailed up there totally naked for all to see and mock. So, ask yourself this if you have that symbol hanging around your neck, do you feel a tinge of shame, can you associate yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ by wearing one of them? Or will you say, “It’s just a piece of jewelry, and ornament to remind me of Him.” Now ask your pastor why there’s a cross in that church, or on the top of the steeple, and listen closely as he answers you.
That cross you wear does not make you a Christian anymore than going to church does. If you are going to continue wearing it though, you might want to prepare yourself if I or someone else meets you in person and asks why you’re wearing it. This verse has best be in your mind, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:15) We are going to want an answer, and if it does not glorify the name of God and lift up Jesus Christ as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, you may not like our response to you. You need to know why you wear it.