THE SYMBOLIC MEANING: Jesus Himself establish established the primary figurative interpretation of the cross as a call to complete surrender to God. He used it five times as a symbol of true discipleship in terms of self-denial, taking up one’s cross, and following Him (Mark 8:34; 10:38; Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23; 14:27). Building on the Roman practice of bearing the crossbeam to the place of execution, Christ intended this to point to the necessary death of self, involving the sacrifice of one’s individuality for the purpose of following Jesus completely; and a willingness to imitate Jesus thoroughly, even to the extent of martyrdom.Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (CROSS,CRUCIFIXION)
- God is the Shepherd (Gen 49:24; Ps 23; 80:1).
- God’s appointed leaders are undershepherds (Ezek 34).
- Many people in the Old Testament were shepherds by trade, like Abel, Abraham, Isaac, Rachel, Jacob, Moses, and David.
- Foreign leaders were sometimes called shepherds when their leadership impacted God’s people (Isa 44:28).
- The prophets depicted the distress of Israel without leadership or bad leader in terms of a flock without a shepherd (Ezek 34:1-10; Zech 10:2; 13:7).
- The prophets used shepherds imagery to point to the Messiah to come (Ezek 34:22-24; 37:24; Isa 40:11; Zech 13:7; see also Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27).