Love's Greatest Symbol
Sir John Bowring, at one time governor of Hong Kong, was a very gifted naturalist, statesman, political economist and linguist who could write in thirteen different languages and dialects.
One day when he was in the Orient, he was looking over an area devastated by an earthquake. Standing high above the ruins, like a lone sentinel, stood the tower of a church. And piercing the sky with its silhouette, on the very tip of the tower was a cross. The sight of this so moved Sir John Bowring that he penned the words of that great old hymn:
In the Cross of Christ I glory,
Most crosses are a symbol only of death. But the Cross of Christ is much more than this. While it is a symbol of Christ's death on the cross, more than ever it is a symbol of life—eternal life.
Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.
Every time we see a cross, whether it be by the roadside or on a tombstone, we are reminded of the certainty of death—an appointment we all will keep. As God's Word says, "No one has power over the day of his death."1 And, "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment."2
But every time we see a cross that represents the Cross of Christ we are reminded of the fact that over two thousand years ago the Son of God came to earth to die in our place that we might receive the gift of eternal life. He came to identify himself with all mankind, only to be rejected, condemned and crucified on the Cross at Calvary. He came to die, not for Himself, but for you and me in our place, to pay the just penalty for all our sins that we might be cleansed, forgiven, made whole and fit for Heaven.
God's Word explains it this way: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned."3 And again, "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."4
No matter how hard we try, we simply cannot save ourselves—neither through good works, intellectual achievement nor man-made religions. Had we been able to save ourselves, Jesus Christ never would have had to die for us. And as "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"5 Now through Jesus Christ we can receive the gift of eternal life by placing our faith and trust in Him.
Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. Only through Him can we find true hope for this life and the life to come. This hope of eternal life can be yours today simply by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
You can do this right now by praying a simple and honest prayer such as
"Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus Christ died on the
cross for my sin and I invite You to come into my heart and life to be my Lord and Savior. Please forgive me for all my sins and help me to become the person You want me to be. I
commit and trust my life and way to You, and ask You to direct me in all my ways by Your
Holy Spirit. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name
If you genuinely prayed this prayer, please let us know by filling in the form at www.actsweb.org/decision.php and we will send you the web address of special articles to help you in your Christian life—all without charge.
1. Ecclesiastes 8:8 (NIV).
2. Hebrews 9:27 (NASB).
3. Romans 5:12 (NASB).
4. 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (NIV).
5. John 14:6 (NIV).