The Cross of Christ has been a significant symbol of victory over fear, evil, and death ever since it was raised on Golgotha. One of the more fascinating developments throughout various cultures around the world has been its association with overcoming the evil as represented by vampires and the most famous, Dracula.
I was always mesmerized by the iconic dapper and slim Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the 1931 film by that name, the first official Dracula film. While his look and voice caused a fearful chill to arise in me the first time I saw the film, there was also a reassuring measure of temptation in his presence. He will always be the ultimate vampire for me.
The Subject of Theological Discussions
Vampires and vampirism have been subjects of superstition, folklore, literature, film, television, and even theological discussions and dissertations around the world for over two hundred years. The common theme, even with the more “likeable” and alluring vampire figures such as the modern Dracula and more recent versions, is their representation of darkness and evil we should fear.
More recently, vampire characters have been more introspective regarding their spiritual struggle with sin and guilt.
Throughout this fascinating collage of superstition, folklore, and art over the years, many objects have been promoted as ways to ward off or destroy vampires or someone who has succumb to vampirism.
One of the most prominent symbols used in most recent times is the cross, a physical cross or the Sign of the Cross. The cross and other symbols of Christianity have represented the belief in the power of God to defeat the dark forces of evil.
How Do Christians Look Without Blinking?
How do we, as Christians, look our personal Dracula in the eyes and not blink, even though the eyes of evil can be mesmerizing? There’s no superstition about it. We hold up the Cross, knowing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us, saving us, and defeating death. But that only half the battle.
Jesus defeated death, but evil still exists in the world. It exists on a macro and existential level, and in the hearts and minds of individuals. And like the smooth-talking Bela Lugosi as Dracula, the evil often presents itself as benign, beguiling temptations, certainly exhibiting nothing to fear.
How Do Christians Hold Up the Cross?
How do we, as Christians, hold up the Cross? We deliberately keep the Cross of Christ before us throughout out of day, and especially in worship, through reading, prayer, and meditation on God’s Word. Even during the Christmas season, it’s important for us to remember Christ came to die for us. His whole life was lived in the shadow of the Cross.
In conclusion, that is where our strength is against the power of evil in our lives, in the shadow of the Cross. After all, it’s the shadow of the cross held before Dracula that always repelled him.
Listen to God's Words
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
And through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Colossians 1:20
Also read: Psalm 91:1-16, Matthew 10:38, Mark 8:34
In the Words of Others
“Come, and see the victories of the cross. Christ’s wounds are thy healings, His agonies thy repose, His conflicts thy conquests, His groans thy songs, His pains thine ease, His shame thy glory, His death thy life, His sufferings thy salvation.” Matthew Henry
“In Jesus Christ on the Cross there is refuge; there is safety; there is shelter; and all the power of sin upon our track cannot reach us when we have taken shelter under the Cross that atones for our sins.” A. C. Dixon
“Any discussion of how pain and suffering fit into God's scheme ultimately leads back to the cross.” Philip Yancey
Think About It
Describe the significance the Cross of Christ has had in your life, regardless of your Christian denomination or non-Christian perspective.
Have there been times you thought of the Cross when you were faced with challenges, even occasions to sin? Recall them and reflect on them.
How do you plan to keep the Cross of Christ before you throughout your day going forward?