The Cross is the Greatest Banner of All.
“You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah” Psalms 60:4 NKJV
If you like college basketball, there is no other place in the country that has such a concentrated number of banners on display in their arenas. Within 25 miles, the three Triangle ACC schools have a combined total of 13 NCAA Tournament Championships. Along with those championships come banners symbolizing that accomplishment.
A banner has many purposes. It serves as a visual display of the victory just won. It also is a reminder of victories in the past. It is a signal to your opponents. It is a rallying point for your team. It also motivates you to go and win another banner.
Banners are also used to identify your nation. They are used for signals. They are used to draw attention to places of business. They are also used to publicize accomplishments.
Banners can evoke emotions. There is no symbol more appropriate than that of a flag being folded and presented to a spouse of veteran. There are no words more emotional then hearing “Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave…”
The psalmist David tells us that God has “given a banner to those who fear” Him. This is not a cowering fear of a tyrannical God, but a reverential fear of a Sovereign Lord. It is not a fear that comes from a distant God Who doesn’t care, but of a Personal Father Who cares enough to love and to discipline.
There is only one banner or symbol that can fit this description. That banner is the cross. The cross is the greatest banner of all. It is a visual display and reminder of the victory won over death, sin, and hell. It is the most recognizable symbol that we use to identify ourselves as Christians. We place our banner high on top of our steeples.
This symbol or banner of the cross evokes emotions. For the believer, the emotion of unconditional love is displayed by the cross. For the sinner, it represents the punishment that was paid for us and the forgiveness that is given to us.
Others look at the banner of the cross with hate. Like the enemies of America who dishonor our flag, many dishonor the cross for what it represents.
As Christian believers and followers of Jesus, we have been given a banner. This banner is to be unfurled in our hearts and displayed in our lives. It is my prayer that we can be a church that raises high the banner of the cross.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.