Cross Abstraction

I had a conversation with my good friend Michael the other day in which he made a statement to me that I have been unable to let go of. It has such simple, yet profound meaning to me, that I just keep going over and over it in my mind. I hope he will not mind that I post it here.

“I know that if I could see the cross more clearly, in less abstract terms, it would be the next great movement in my sanctification.”

Being the geek that I am, I hopped on over to and looked up the definition of “abstract“. Here is what I found:

ab·stract ( P ) Pronunciation Key (b-strkt, bstrkt) adj.
1. Considered apart from concrete existence: an abstract concept.
2. Not applied or practical; theoretical. See Synonyms at
3. Difficult to understand; abstruse: abstract philosophical problems.
4. Thought of or stated without reference to a specific instance: abstract words like truth and justice.
5. Impersonal, as in attitude or views.
6. Having an intellectual and affective artistic content that depends solely on intrinsic form rather than on narrative content or pictorial representation: abstract painting and sculpture.

And then I realized that I too have at times viewed the Cross in an abstract manner. So I must ask myself, and all 3 of you faithful readers out there, what would it mean to begin living life with an applied, practical, and real view of the Cross? What would happen if the Atonement was no longer just a theological concept that my head knows really occured, but that seems so far removed from this time and place? What would happen if I could move past imagination, where I see my abstract Savior packaged nicely into an Evangelical mold, and instead placed my hand in his side, and my fingers in his hands? What then……?


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