Mobile, AL (WKRG) - Dr. Alan Floyd with Cottage Hill Baptist Church joins us to talk about the symbol of the cross. Here's a look at that conversation:
Chad: Thanks, it’s Faith Time our weekly conversation on Matters of Faith. Joining me this morning is
Dr. Alan Floyd, senior pastor at Cottage Hill Baptist Church
thanks for joining us this morning.
Guest: Good morning
Chad: It’s Easter Sunday--the most important holiday in Christianity--let’s talk about the cross--what does it mean to you?
Guest: Every religion and ideology has its symbol. Buddhism has the Lotus Flower. Judaism has the star of David. Islam is symbolized by the Crescent. Well, Xnty has its symbol, it’s the cross; not just a cross, but THE cross. The Bible says it the Power of God for salvation (I Cor.). For me, the cross is a symbol of the pain, suffering, the sacrifice of Christ but also LOVE that reaches from earth to heaven, and reaching around the world.
Chad: How did the cross go from an ancient form of public execution to becoming THE symbol for Christianity?
Guest: Jesus, of course, was not the first man killed by crucifixion. History records that hundreds were executed that way by the Roman Empire, both Before and After Jesus. The difference is that Jesus was no ordinary man. Son of God. Post-resurrection, Jesus explained how He fulfilled the hundreds of prophecies of the OT. And how He was The Sacrifice for sin for ALL mankind. His death was not an execution, but rather a willing sacrifice for us. The cross now becomes a symbol…not so much of execution…but of His sacrifice.
Chad: Who or what is responsible for transforming the cross in a cultural sense from what it was to what it is?
Guest: Chad, In the first 2-300 years of Christianity, the prominent symbols were the fish, anchor…and more secretly the cross…because there were still executions of Christians. It wasn’t until Emperor Constantine in the fourth century who is credited with the recognition and prominence over the other symbols.
Chad: Why is the cross as a symbol even more Significant at Easter?
Guest: Well, I personally believe the Empty tomb is the appropriate Easter Symbol…haha…but it's hard to put that on a t-shirt or an Easter Egg. You see, the Resurrection is God The Father’s “Amen” to the sacrifice on the Cross. We have to remember it's not the wooden beam…it’s the place, the act that occurred 2000 years ago. And that act of sacrifice paid for our sin, our guilt.
Chad: What’s your favorite part of the Easter story?
Guest: This may seem strange, but I like the Doubting Thomas aspect. I’m sort of a skeptic, I can see myself saying, “unless I touch his side and nail prints, I won't’ believe.” And when Jesus appeared, Thomas, here you go…haha…and then Jesus said, “blessed are those you have not seen and still believe.”
Chad: When you talk to people today who maybe don’t get to church as often how do you get them to come back?
Chad, we can encourage them, entice them…we may offer a teaching series on something that interests them or their kids…but really, we just seek to be as friendly as possible…and give them enough of the truth in love that they want even more. We believe, that once you really experience the real Jesus and His cross…you want to follow Him.
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