from Jeff Cook:
This week Christians all over the world will celebrate an execution.
In the sixth century BC, the Assyrians developed a new way to kill people. Early cultures the world over punished murderers and other scoundrels by hanging them from a cursed tree, but the Assyrians realized when they crucified someone, they commanded respect. The sight of a crucifixion inflicted a horror which the Assyrians found more valuable than simply executing a criminal. Crosses were able to mutilate and dishonor so severely that everyone noticed, everyone was shocked, everyone adapted, everyone was transformed by the power of the cross.
Crosses were the nuclear weapon of the ancient world.
Crosses were billboards. Crosses unveiled who was king.
Looking back on history one truth is certain. In the ancient world, crosses communicated to everyone that the violent, the brutally ambitious, and the merciless reigned over the earth. Crosses were not just the way people died. Crosses were instruments of slavery. Crosses announced the rule of death, evil, dysfunction and despair.
But this is no longer the case.
The world itself has miraculously changed for the cross is no longer an icon of death but a symbol of lasting life. The cross is no longer the tool of a dysfunctional world but a sign that this world is being remade. The cross is no longer a picture of oppression or despair; the cross no longer screams out that God is absent or that death is the future of all.
Because of Jesus, the cross has a different message.
The entire post can be read here.