The Cross


Discipleship is all about discovering what it means to be loved by God, trusting in all that He has done for us on the cross, and committing to take up our cross and follow Him.

In the corner of our Church prayer garden stands a large wooden cross. It’s presence dominates, reminding all who go there to pray, that Jesus is the centre of it all. His teachings, His miracles, His healings, His wonderful acts of love, but first and foremost His cross.

To speak of the cross is to quickly realise that words aren’t enough, but being a disciple of Jesus is a life that is lived permanently in its shadow. At the cross the power of sin is broken - we are free. All shame is washed away - we are loved. Death is defeated - He is risen. Satan has lost - he has no rights over us. At the cross we see what God is like and His passion for His creation, His passion for us.

But the cross also speaks of us. To follow Jesus is the death of our old life and the beginning of something completely new. To follow Jesus costs everything but it is to gain more. It’s a way of living that is marked by joy and peace - it is ‘the easy way’ - but also obedience and change.

The cross reminds us of the costly way in which God has loved the world and the cost of discipleship.

Discipleship is about the cross.

But what do you see as you look at this image?

As you talk with Jesus what is He teaching you?

Are there particular Bible verses that you find helpful in the light of this image, or is there a part of the scriptures that further illuminates this icon?

Here are some bible passages that we believe are at the heart of what this icon is all about.

  • Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Luke 9:23 - Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
  • Matt 13.44 - The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
  • Phil 3.7-12 - But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
  • 1 Peter 2.24 - He himself bore our sins, in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness
  • Col 3:17 - And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
  • Revelation 5.12 - Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!

Questions and Practices: How can we live in the light of The Cross?

It is important that these Icons don’t just invite us to reflect but that they move us into action. Below you will find some practices to be explored on your own or in groups and some questions that you and others may wish to reflect upon:

  • The cross is at the heart of all that Jesus is about - but do you know and have you read any of the accounts of His life? Are you familiar with the details of his life, teaching, healings, death, resurrection and ascension? Why not commit to read one of the Gospel accounts - a chapter a day - for the next few weeks?

  • The Cross invites a response of faith, trust and allegiance to Jesus as our King - have you made a decision to commit your life to Christ? If there are any questions that might prevent you from taking this step of faith why not speak to someone who could help.

  • It may be that now is the right time for you to mark your faith publicly by being baptised? Before you enter the water you will be sealed with the sign of the cross!

  • The Cross invites us to respond in awe, wonder and worship - how is your life punctuated like this? Are you living a life of gratitude and praise?

  • Following Jesus is a life of daily repentance - what do you need to give up to follow Jesus? What do you need to take hold of - maybe a promise of His - today?

  • We live in a world that is constantly shaping us - you could perhaps say the world is discipling us - what is shaping you? What often takes the place of Jesus in your life?

  • The Cross reminds us that each day is to be marked by daily surrender and the entrusting of our lives into His love scarred hands - what do you need to trust Jesus with today?

  • As you gaze upon the cross it’s important to ask - do you know that you are deeply and truly loved by God? Is there anything getting in the way of that?

  • What is God’s call on your life - do you have a particular vocation that the Lord is inviting you to explore?

  • What defines you? For the disciple of Christ our identity is shaped by the cross - “for me to live is Christ, to die is gain”.

  • How are you going to practice the cross?

How are you going to practice The Cross?