#293 (08/07/07)
The Power of the Cross

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

I’ve never had a guest who was more intelligent, more respected in the academic world. He is an author, he is an ordained theologian, he is.. I’m holding it up right here: One of the most creative writers I’ve ever had the privilege to read. This book is entitled, “Why Good Things Happen to Good People.” Now that’s a tremendously provocative, insightful and inspiring title. And boy Dr. Francis Collins endorses it, Sister Helen Prejean, Dr. Martin Seligman, the head of the positive psychology movement in the world today. And I am on the back cover. I say about it, “In my entire lifetime I have never read a book that presents the benefits of giving for the giver as well as this one does, and using such powerful signs in the process.”

Special Music

"Joyful, Joyful..”
" O Jesus, We Adore You "


“Prologue in Heaven ”

SKRUK - "La Den Brenne"
SKRUK - "My Help Comes from the Lord"
LARNELLE HARRIS – “Look at Your Hands”
SKRUK - "Exultate Deo"

The Message

I have been a student of crosses for years. I don't know how it started, but I appreciate art and one of the things I've appreciated is looking at the various crosses that are in the world. I think I was 13 years old when the cross on top of the Tower of Hope was built and it was an incredible sight to see a crane lift that cross up on top of the tower. That cross is 90 feet tall. It is the size of nine story building. When that cross was placed on top of the Tower of Hope it was the tallest structure and highest point in all of Orange County. It is two hundred and thirty six feet high. I have often looked at crosses from a design standpoint and thought to myself, "I wish it was possible to design a cross that was still a cross from every angle, no matter what way you looked at it. If you notice, if you look at a cross straight on, all you see is a line. The cross only becomes apparent when it is turned ever so slightly. Once it's turned, then all of a sudden the cross appears. So I've always thought in my mind, "I just wish I could design a cross that looks like a cross no matter from what angle you look at it." Guess what: a few weeks ago when my wife and I were in Berlin, I found the most amazing cross. This cross will always look exactly like a cross no matter what angle you see it from. It will follow you as you walk around the city. It's absolutely a work of art. You will never guess who made it. It was built when the wall was up in Berlin and the communists built it! The communists built it; they didn't even know what they were building. They put it a thousand feet in the air so everybody in Berlin, no matter where they walked, would be followed by this cross. It is the communication towers in Berlin, one thousand, one hundred feet tall. Now you may not see the cross right away, but if you look at a picture you will see a ball. On the ball is the cross. Here's how it works: The sun shines on this ball and creates a cross! When the communists saw it, they did everything they could to get rid of it. They tried to paint it and it wouldn't go away. They tried to take the shine off of the ball and it wouldn't go away. No matter where you walk around the city, if the sun shines on the ball, there is the cross!


The most amazing thing - the power of the cross. You know the cross is a symbol of our Christian faith. In this message I am going to be talking about three things that the cross symbolizes to us. In the next few weeks, I want to address the meaning of the cross. I'd like you to write me and tell me what the cross means to you. What does it symbolize in your life? You can go to our website and there will be an area there where you can respond to what the cross means to you.


Today I am going to share with you the fact that:

1. The cross is a symbol of our faith.

2. The cross is a symbol of our hope.

3. The cross is a symbol of our love.


It starts with our faith. There is an interesting passage of scripture and it is in the New Testament, where you would not expect to find the true meaning of the cross. It is found in the Old Testament, in the book of Numbers. This is the passage:


"As Moses was leading the people through the wilderness, the people grew impatient on the way. They spoke against God and against Moses and said why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the desert? There's no bread, there's no water, and we detest this miserable food. Then the Lord sent one of His snakes among them. It bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, 'we sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.' So Moses prayed for the people and the Lord said to Moses, 'Make a snake and put it up on a pole. Anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.' So Moses made a bronze snake, put it up on a pole that when anyone was bitten by this snake, and looked at the bronze snake, he lived." That is the passage of scripture. That's all we know. It makes you wonder, why would that even be brought up in the scriptures? How is that relevant to us today? Then we hear these words of Jesus Christ. In the 3rd Chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus is talking with Nicodemus, telling him he must be born again in order to inherit the kingdom of God. Jesus says "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the son of man must be lifted up that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." I believe that God allowed those events to take place in the wilderness so that today you and I could have a symbol of our faith.  We need to confess our sins. We need to rejoice in the Lord always and to give thanks to God for all things. When we look upon the cross of Jesus Christ, it is the symbol of our faith that our sins are forgiven, that hope is reborn.


The cross is a symbol of our faith, our faith in the God who died for us. When we come to Him, He will forgive our sins and He will give us the keys to the kingdom of heaven and He will invite us to live with Him forever in paradise. It is a symbol of our faith.


It is also a symbol of our hope, our positive thinking. When we come across the negatives in life, and we complain about things, we look at the cross and what do we see? We see a plus sign. We see a negative turned into a plus. The cross of Jesus Christ takes the negative things in our lives and through hope, He turns them into positives. The cross is our symbol of hope.

The cross gives us the hope that the words of the Scripture, when we apply them to our lives, actually work. When we live it, it proves itself to us. The negatives, the minuses are turned into a plus through our hope and the symbol that the cross gives to us, a symbol of hope.

The cross is also a symbol of love.


For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life. (John 3:15)


The cross is a symbol of God's enormous unbelievable unfailing love for every single human being on planet earth. it consists of a vertical beam. God's love to us is like a vertical beam. At the same time there's a horizontal beam so that God comes to us and fills us with His love and then the vertical reality comes into place when we allow that love to overflow and we love others.


Jesus said it succinctly; the commands are summed up in these two.

Love the Lord thy God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind;
and the second is like unto it.
Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22: 37-39)


Charles Steinmetz was an electrical wizard for General Electric in the early 1900's. General Electric was having problems with one of their big machines. No one in their company could fix it and he had retired and he said, "Don't ever call me. I'm retired." They did everything they could and finally the chairman of the board said, "We better call Charles. I think he can fix it." They called Charles out of retirement. He wasn't too happy about it but he came down to the main headquarters, and he looked over the machine for about an hour; he studied it and then he went and took a piece of chalk and put an "X" on the equipment and said, "There is your problem." They fixed the equipment. He sent them a bill for ten thousand dollars. I want to remind you, this is the early 1900's. That's when a cup of coffee was two cents. That's when a new car was $800. That's when an acre of land could be purchased for a few dollars; and he sent them a bill for $10,000. Then they told him they wanted the bill itemized! So he itemized it. One dollar: putting an X on the machine. Nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine dollars for knowing where to put that X.


Here is my question for you: Do you know where to put the X in your life to give you the faith and the hope and the love that God has for you. Do you know where to put the cross? Is it an adornment or a piece of jewelry around your neck or is it there because it's in your heart?

Let's pray:


Dear Heavenly Father, we stand in Your presence today with a song in our heart and the cross to adorn it. We thank You Lord for the tremendous sacrifice and gift that Your Son, Jesus Christ gave for us. For that, we give You praise and glory forever and ever, Amen.

HOP Privacy Legal  
Designed by: Ultragraphics Ltd.