From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

I am puzzled why people wear crosses around their necks but their lives reflect nothing of the Lord Jesus Christ?

— C.C.

Dear C.C.: While the cross is under attack today, it hasn’t changed people’s fascination with this iconic symbol. But many ask, “What does it mean?” If people were stopped on the street and asked to explain this, some would answer that it is the symbol of Christianity. Others might say it is a religious myth. History majors may describe it as an example of Roman justice.

In jewelry stores from Fifth Avenue to the airport in Rome, one piece of jewelry is universally displayed — the cross. Clerical robes have this emblem sewn on the front or back. Churches display the cross in wood, bronze, concrete, or brass. Often at Easter, crosses dot the landscape and can be seen for miles.

Before the teaching in the Bible about the cross can mean anything to us, the Spirit of God must open our minds. To the “outsider” the cross must appear to be ridiculous, or simply an ornament. But to those who have experienced its transforming power, it has become the only remedy for the ills of each person, and of the world.

The message of the cross is this — that upon it Jesus was crucified. He died for our sins that we might have life everlasting. God changes men and women — not by the symbols of the cross — but by the message of the cross of Christ.

God designed the cross to defeat Satan, the deceiver, and Satan’s power was broken at the cross. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8, ESV). Through the cross, God not only overpowered Satan but brought Himself and man together. This is glorious news!

More from this section