As I was listening to the radio on the way to work this morning, "White Flag" was on the radio
As Tomlin sings "We lift the cross...", it made me think (which can be dangerous)....
There seem to be a lot of songs in Christian culture (contemporary and hymns) that focus on the cross. That isn't necessarily bad- The Old Rugged Cross is one of my favorite hymns. But so many songs seem to have the cross as the focal point, not the God-man who was punished, ridiculed, and tortured by hanging on it.
I think of the first few commandments- we shall worship God- not graven images or idols. God became angry at the Israelites because they chose to construct a calf to worship, because God was not 'with' them unless Moses was 'with' them.
In 2 Kings 18, Hezekiah took reign and began eliminating idols like Asherah poles. Interestingly enough (as pointed out somewhere else on here) one thing destroyed was the bronze snake of Moses because "for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it".
It's easy to understand why they'd destroy Asherah poles, but an artifact from Moses?
"for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it"...
Of course, we don't burn incense (for the most part) anymore, but they were offering worship to a symbol or relic of their version of Jesus. It was interesting that a leader recognized that worshiping this artifact of Moses was no different than worshiping an Asherah pole or another idol.
I understand the importance of the symbolism of the cross. It's a tangible thing we can identify and share and express ourselves to others. However, we run a risk of "cross worship" where we begin to exalt and "burn incense" to the cross. I'm not against the cross being part of our worship, but it's a means to an end, not the end. Jesus didn't end with the cross. Jesus was not the only person to die on one of those dreadful execution devices. I am more concerned with the potential for people to substitute the cross for the One who died on it.
Again, I am not saying that any mention of a cross in a song is blasphemy, nor am I criticizing Tomlin's song as 'not Biblical' I am just more aware in my own mind to make sure I am worshiping Jesus, not the cross He died on.
Interesting thoughts. I think our focus should be solely on Jesus (Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.) We see Jesus throughout the Old Testament; we see him in the gospels and epistles. All scripture ultimately points to Jesus. The cross is part of the story of Jesus; his death is central to everything we believe.
But the cross was simply the weapon, if you will, that precipitated his necessary death. So I certainly agree with your line of thinking.