The Sign of the Cross

It is said that the Emperor Constantine, after his conversion to Christianity, adopted as his motto the words, in hoc signo vinces, by this sign you conquer. The sign to which Constantine referred was the cross, and Constantine, whether he understood it or not, had the authority of the Bible on his side in choosing his motto. Jesus of Nazareth, having inquired from the disciples who the people said that he was, and having been told by Peter that, whatever the imagination of the crowd might depict him as, he was to his followers "the Christ of God," went on to explain that the only way in which any of those who had accepted his teaching could show their understanding of this would be by striving for the Mind of Christ, or as he then put it, by learning to "deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." These words, of course, made it perfectly clear that Jesus was not referring to the physical cross he would one day carry up the hill at Calvary. For it is obvious that it would be impossible for any man to do this daily. What he was referring to was that self-denial which contains the repudiation of the evidence of the senses, and constitutes the claim which Jesus made for all of his disciples, at all times, to the sonship of God, Principle.

Never once did Jesus claim, according to the Greek text of the Bible, that he was the only son of God. He spoke of "my Father, and your Father," and he taught the disciples to pray to "our Father which art in heaven." But nobody knew so well as he that the physical man was not the son of God. In uncompromising language he denounced this physical man as having for his father the devil, in their words evil. Consequently, when he insisted that the only way to follow in his footsteps, as the Christ, was for the disciple to deny himself daily, he simply meant that everybody aspiring to be a Christian must daily deny the reality of his own materiality, and must take up the cross which this denial insured, and so follow in his footsteps as he had walked in the narrow way that leadeth to eternal life.

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Editorial
Timidity
December 11, 1920
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