As a 20-year-old student in Bible college, I heard a sermon about the cross that I will never forget. The preacher told us the x in our English language was but a tilted t from ancient times. He went on to say that the t was one of the early symbols for the cross.
His application was memorable. He said, “Isn’t it interesting that when you make a mistake with a typewriter (this was long before the computer age, but some will remember), you correct it by typing over it with a lot of x’s?” In other words, the x, or cross, is a sign of forgiveness. We make mistakes, and the Lord types over them with the “red ribbon” of forgiveness.
He said, when a girlfriend or boyfriend writes the other, isn’t it interesting that the PS usually has a lot of x’s? The cross is a symbol of love, the deepest kind! It is God’s love being demonstrated in an unmistakable way.
I love baseball, and so I especially enjoyed his illustration of batters who take their bats and draw an x in the dirt in front of the plate. The x, or cross, is a sign of hope. Because Jesus lives, we too shall live, today and eternally.
Man fixes things with WD-40 and duct tape, but God fixed things with nails. Jesus went to the cross, was nailed there for our sins, and paid sin’s penalty so that we could have life today and escape the tragedy of an eternity without God.
Forgiveness, love, and hope are three magnificent possessions. We recall them through an ancient language, but they come to us through a living presence, Jesus Christ. In Communion, we reflect on his unique death and express gratitude that he did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We are so thankful for all that he has done!
Bryce Jessup is president emeritus of William Jessup University, Rocklin, California.