The Power of the Cross

The Church celebrates the major feast of the Cross on the 17th of Tout (27th-‎‎29th of September), the day of the apparition of the Cross to Emperor ‎Constantine, and on the 10th of Baramhat (19th of March), the day when the ‎Empress Helen found the wood of the Holy Cross.‎What does this mean for you? What effect does this have and what is the importance of the Cross?

St. John Chrysostom believed that we should celebrate the cross because "Christ is the Passover and has been sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7). The Cross is where the Son was sacrificed for the forgiveness of sins on behalf of humanity and only through this sacrifice are we saved and forgiven. This is something that we may not be thankful for on a daily basis - but it should definitely be rememebred. Whenever we see a cross or even sign the cross in prayer, we should remember the sacrifice and forgiveness that came along with it. 
feast of cross

In the liturgy of St. Basil, it is mentioned that "He descended into Hades through the Cross." Through this, the gates of Paradise were opened and the right hand thief for example, was able to enter - only by the power of the Cross. This power that the Cross holds is the power of a Christian. We may not recognise or acknowledge it, but this is what defeats Satan. The theif believed when he saw Jesus nailed to the Cross, accepting upon Himself insults, spitting, mockery and suffering. Although the way in which Jesus was killed was demeaning, yet customary at the time, the Cross should not in any way be perceived as a sign of weakness. It is the opposite because it is truly a mighty power; a power able to defeat Satan and abolish sin with glory.

Ask yourself - what does the cross mean to you? When it is mentioned, do we generally think only of Good Friday and Golgotha? Is it just something that took place centuries ago? Unless we realise it is a principle of everyday life, a way of living, of voluntary self-giving, we miss its practical meaning for us. The cross is not put on my shoulder by someone else or by accident. It is not forced upon me, but instead voluntarily assumed from within. It is going the extra mile, doing more than conditions require. That impossible person to get on with at work or school is not your cross, when you reply to that person's insults with, "Father forgive him," is when you become a cross-bearer.

St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in London is one of the oldest Coptic churches in the lands of the immigration, and one of the first to be supported and cared for by our beloved patriarch, HH the late Pope Shenouda III.

  • St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church
    Allen Street, Kensington
    London W8 6UX