Some churches hang colorful flags or banners on their buildings to show their inclusiveness. These emblems show that all people, regardless of their place in society, are welcome. This is admirable but if they already have a cross on their church is it necessary? The cross of Jesus Christ the most inclusive symbol there is:
“And he [Jesus] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Corinthians 5:15)
When Jesus died on the cross he died for all people. We are all guilty of committing many sins, especially the sin of living only for ourselves.
There are serious divisions in society today but when Jesus rose from the dead and sent his disciples out to evangelize the world he sent them out into a world that was even more fractured than ours.
There were profound socio-economic differences but one of the greatest divisions was between Jews and Gentiles. The Jews had enjoyed centuries as God’s favored people and considered non-Jews, aka the Gentiles, as second class citizens. Incorporating the Gentiles into the church was a tremendous challenge. Fortunately, the disciples had the greatest symbol of unity to guide them:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.  For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility  by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. (Ephesians 2:13-16)
The cross of Jesus broke down the centuries-old dividing wall of hostility between the Jews and those, “who once were far off.” It can still bring even the most divided people together today.
How? The cross unifies us first by humbling us and then by lifting us up. The cross humbles us when we realize that our sins caused Jesus, the sinless Son of God, to die. There was no other way to pay for our sins. And it lifts us up when we realize that Jesus loved us enough to give his life for us. There is no greater source of hope and comfort.
“For there is no distinction,  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:22-24)
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Although it may not seem like it where you attend church, the Christian church is the most inclusive and diverse institution in the world. And it’s all because of the blessed cross of Jesus Christ.