Many people walk with the cross, talk about the death of Jesus, put crosses in churches or cemeteries, and give extreme importance to this symbol. But would it really be the main point of salvation?
For years man was evil and continues to be, and torture has always been a by-product of the sin that blossoms in the heart of man. People were sawn in half, burned, tortured by the most gruesome and time-consuming means possible. Would the pain on the cross be the importance for salvation? Is salvation measured by the suffering an individual has? So, to be saved, is it necessary to be tortured? Would suffering be the bargaining chip to achieve salvation?
The answer is a big, NO! It is not suffering that generates salvation. Even God does not take pleasure in suffering. But if there is suffering, then in that situation we see man's practice. For example, it was not Jesus who went to the cross, but evil men nailed him and condemned him to the cross. The true Christian forgives, but does not condescend. The Christian will always define wrongs and call them by name, but will he cause the sinner pain? The only suffering released to the Christian is to generate the suffering of repentance. Any other, it was not determined by God. But in the history of the Hebrews there are several mandates to kill people, and why not now? Because the correct thing at the time was to follow Hammurabi's code. So, God softened Hammurabi's law to not be so violent, and with the coming of Jesus, he abolished that law. An example would be marriage, marriage in the divine concept is just joining the woman, but in the current concept, marriage has to do with dresses, rings, priests or pastors, witnesses and other things. Thus, God would define less luxurious rules, and with the coming of Christ, he would demonstrate again that marriage is just loving the partner of the opposite sex.
Thus, the right thing is not an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but loving your neighbor, but due to the hardness of heart, men would only accept something based on the laws of Hammurabi.
A very current example is the action of killing animals. The correct thing since Eden is not to eat the meat of animals, but any preaching to define that the correct thing is not to eat meat, makes people's hardness of heart rise. This hardness is the same with regard to Hammurabi's code. Thus, people have great difficulty accepting God's law in its pure concept, being softened by God because of the hardness of men's hearts.
So, too, is the cross of Christ, for the importance of Christ is not the cross, but his life, his teachings, and the presentation of God's love to man. This is the real importance, and normally people are attached to symbols, when the right thing is to be attached to practice. It's not walking with a crucifix, or putting crosses in churches, it's merely walking as Christ walked, that's the real importance. Walking with a cross, talking about a cross is worthless, what matters is doing what Christ did. A very clear verse about this is in Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Here, he is not talking about a cross to die on, but a life of struggle to do good. See also, he is not saying to merely suffer, but to do what is good, and since the world is evil, people of good will not like to see good.
Thus, it is not the cross as an object of torture that is important, but the good that is done. This is the key point. We can even see this in another verse that says. Even if I give all that I have to the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but do not have love, it avails me nothing, that is first Corinthians 13:3.
Therefore, it is clear that giving one's life, giving money, or whatever it may be, without love, would be nothing. So the cross is not important, what is really important is love, and that is the main point. The cross is of no importance at all, what is really important is love. And in this we have the main verse. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.