In A Nutshell | February 17, 2023

Better to Lean on the Cross than ‘Knock on Wood’

We’re all familiar with colloquialisms — expressions used over and over again to describe, explain, or summarize a particular situation. 

One of the more common examples of these popular sayings is “Knock on Wood,” something we say in the hope that our good fortune will continue. For example, a person who recently changed jobs might say something like, “so far, this position is much better than my previous one, and I am hopeful that it will stay that way…knock on wood.”

When we make a statement like that, we often look for a wooden surface to tap on with our fist, just to be sure that our luck doesn’t run out. This, of course, is entirely based on superstition.

We do, however, have a much more secure, reliable, and assuring source of wood, and that is the cross on which Christ was crucified. We even have a hymn that celebrates that wood – “The Old Rugged Cross.”

The cross is, indeed, a source of hope, encouragement, and inspiration, but instead of knocking on it, we are much better off if we choose to lean on it. It is, after all, the most visible symbol of our salvation. 

As we recall from that iconic hymn, the “old, rugged cross is the emblem of suffering and shame,” so we “cling to the old rugged cross” with the hope and expectation that “we will exchange if one day for a crown” (of righteousness).

Our faith teaches us to stand strong and not get caught up in foolish folklore or silly superstitions. Instead, reflect on the old rugged cross and rely on the Savior who hung there as an atonement for our sins and a pathway to liberation from sin and death.

As we prepare to enter the Lenten season next week, let us give thanks for the cross that promises eternal life for those who accept and believe in Jesus as the Son of God.

Until we meet again, Be Blessed! – Pastor John

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