I've come across quite a few songs that talk about the 'wonderful' cross or another similar adjective to wonderful. Now I understand songs like: "I will love You for the cross" but i'm not sure I agree with calling the cross a 'wonderful' cross.

At the end of the day the cross was a way to execute someone - a humiliating, painful way of dying - and I don't think I would call it wonderful.

I think I know where these songs are coming from but I feel much more comfortable with thanking God for going through with dying on the cross rather than calling the cross itself wonderful.

Am I being a bit too picky or would you agree?

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I wouldn't say you're being picky, but I do understand where you're coming from. But i disagree, lol. The cross is a symbol of our freedom through Christ, it's what holds us together. The sacrifice He made, He made for every single one of us.

I'm not sure if you saw/heard Luoie Giglio's message "Alive" but in it he uses the human body to show the greatness of God. And one thing he uses is what is called "Laminin". And laminin, in a nut shell, holds molecules in our body together. Here's what laminin looks like http://tiffanysingleton.myadventures.org/blogphotos/myadventures/ti... (i copied and pasted the link for an effect, lol) That's one point. Also in another message, Louie Giglio uses the universe to show how big God is, it's called "Indescribable". In this message he explores the universe, and comes to a galaxy where the middle of it is this http://www.scienceclarified.com/images/uesc_02_img0091.jpg

So i think that the cross is a wonderful thing. Also remember this:
Mathew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Also
Mathew 10:38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me

God Bless
Good day, Phil.

I understand what you're getting at. Totally understandable.

For me, it helps to think of the dual nature of the cross. By all means, just as you said, the cross was a horrible way of execution - both humiliating and painful. It's hard to look at this aspect of what the cross is and even be slightly tempted to call it 'wonderful'. It's downright awful. The cross, viewed in this way, is a doorway to humiliation, and ultimately, death.

On the other hand, Christ reconciled "all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." (Col. 1:20) In this view, the cross is a doorway to life, peace and reconciliation. Of course, when we use the word 'cross', what we actually mean to communicate is "Christs' death... and further, his resurrection... of which, the cross is a symbol of both." Dual nature.

When I looked up the word 'wonder' this morning, it was defined as: "a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful." 'Surprise' can be both: "surprise! it's your birthday and all your friends secretly gathered in this place to celebrate [happy]" or "surprise! your dog just got hit by a car and you watched to whole thing happen [terrible]." When we look at the cross in it's full context, both the terrible, torturous death, coupled with the pure unexpected, "beyond what we can comprehend" nature of the resurrection, there are moments of both: the terrible and joyful, shameful and beautiful.

In this way, I guess, the definition of wonder (or wonderful) fits. "a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful."

What are your thoughts on this? 1 Corinthians 1:18 also has something to say about the dual nature of the cross, but I won't get into that.

Really good stuff to think about. Thanks for spurring me on at the beginning of my work week.
Thanks for your thoughts on this Ralph and Andy - they are very helpful and interesting. It's definately given me some things to think about - I will think some more about this topic...
Phil - Yes yes yes yes yes! You are definitely being too picky.

I last played 'The Wonderful Cross' on Sunday, and felt the same rising in gratitude that I have always felt. The cross is, was and always will be wonderful - it was the way chosen to allow us access to death to sin. Man that is something to celebrate, don't you think?

I appreciate what you are saying, but the wonderful cross managed to give me acess to new life in Christ's resurrection, and without it we have nothing. I think it's wonderful.

I don't know, one of these days I'll say what I really think (joke folks).

Mikey B
I totally agree with Andy's thoughts with regards to this. It is true that Christ's death on the cross was humiliating, painful and yet absolutely necessary.

For Christians and non Christians, the symbol of the cross is parodoxical. It is a symbol of shame and humiliation for the Christian not just because of what Christ went through but the awareness that humanity (that is all of us) had a part to play in his suffering and death. Yet, it is also a symbol of hope and victory because of Christ's death and resurrection. For a non Christian, "the message of the cross is foolishness" as 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us in no uncertain terms.

Corinth was a place steeped in its esteem of all things philosophical, logical and where knowledge was a prized possession (not unlike our modern world). It would not have been far fetched to say that the cross was a symbol of despise for those who saw and weighed the relevance and importance of things through the wisdom of the world. Therein laid an irony. What the Greco-Roman world perceived as strong in the convention way was torn down by the image of the crucified Christ – an outward image of failure and weakness, for death was viewed by many as the ultimate defeat, but in essence, for those who understood the significance of the cross, a symbol of the power of God manifested through the death and resurrection of Christ (1:25).

That, to me speaks of the wonders of the cross. Given that we are a wretched people saved by the manifold grace and mercies of an all loving God, surely our response to "the wonderful cross" is not only natural but a necessary response?
I too wonder why we like the cross so much. It is because of Jesus that we have salvation and forgiveness, and by the various prophecies in the Bible the only thing in His day that could really fit the bill was the cross and the shame that came with it! It's what Jesus DID on the cross that we should be calling wonderful, so the cross then becomes a REMINDER of two things:
1. Our sinfulness
2. God's graciousness

So people are attracted to the cross, and even non-Christians find the cross a fascinating shape, being one of the most popular symbols for almost every accessory. However, if we look back on Christian history, many people probably shared your same views. The earliest known Christian symbol was the Ichthys, a fish, and... Well, here's the Wiki page for it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ichthys

I know this thread is 2-years-old but I hope you read it and I hope this blesses you in some way. Hopefully God has answered your questions. God bless and keep searching for His truths =)
If Jesus had died for our sins in the 1950's, would Christians today wear little 24-karat gold electric chairs around our necks?
If Jesus had died for our sins in the 1990's, would there be a giant syringe at the front of every church as the symbol of our faith?

A former pastor of mine once pointed out (and I haven't double-checked this, but I have no reason to doubt its truthfulness) that the cross did not begin to appear in Christian art until there was no longer anyone alive who had ever actually seen one.

Wondrous, yes. The cross can and should inspire us to wonder about the magnitude of what God did in sending His Son from heaven to earth to pay for the sins of all humanity.

But "wonderful" in our current culture is usually a synonym for nice, pleasant, attractive, enjoyable, and words along those lines that are as polar opposite as you can get from what the cross actually represented...
WOW, recently I've been wondering the same thing as Alex mentions - why would GOD choose that precise point in time, with that particular method of execution????? Why not a medieval torture chamber?
A guillotine?
The Nazi gas chamber?
A Salem witch trial?
Etc etc etc......
There are countless gruesome forms of execution, why exactly did HE choose the cross???
Must have been something quite special and significant!

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