The Value and The Cost of The Cross

Blood of Jesus image. Bloody hand print of Jesus over many gold and silver cross necklaces.

JOHN THE BAPTIST ARTWORKS SERIES

Click on the image to enlarge it.

$15 AUD ($15 USD), Paper Collage and Acrylic on Particle Board, 37cm x 46cm (14.5″ x 18″),

 

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Each Saturday I go down to Salamanca Market, in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, where I have a stall to sell my artwork and evangelize through it (http://www.hobartcity.com.au/Hobart/Hobart_Events/The_Market).

During the course of the day thousands of people walk by and choose to either come in and look or to just walk by and ignore the artwork. I have noticed that quite a few people in these crowds wear crosses around their necks. Whenever I see them, I get hopeful, thinking this might be a fellow brother or sister of mine in the Lord–a kindred spirit. However, more often than not, these cross-bearers take no more than a passing glance or two at my Christian artwork and then walk off.

Their apathy demonstrates that our valuations of the cross are worlds apart.

More and more, it leaves me wondering: Why do these people even bother to wear such a thing if its message means so little to them?

The cross of Christ is most precious to me. By his sacrifice I have been redeemed. His shed blood was the result of my punishment that he took upon himself. And without his sacrifice I would never have known the beauty of fellowship with God. I would be lost in my sins forever and destined for hell.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)

It hurts me when I see the symbol of such a priceless gift reduced to nothing more than a decoration, a lucky charm or a sign of wealth, or even worse, a meaningless emblem to make money off of. When I think of my suffering Savior and the terrible shame and disgrace he innocently bore for ME, and when I think of the unspeakable pain and the terrors of death the Lamb of God went through for ME, it hurts me at how de-valued his incredible sacrifice has become to some and how that de-valuation is being spread to the world by those who still loosely profess to be “Christian” (which means “belonging to Christ”).

I have done this piece to remind us of the true value of the cross and of how much the cross cost Jesus for our sakes. The collage juxtaposes numerous photos of crosses out of a jeweler’s catalogue with the bloody hand and arm print of Christ crucified.

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15)

(For more information on what Christ’s sacrifice truly means and on how to enter into a relationship with God, see “Message“)