Summary: The image of the cross and skull bones compared and contrasted with Jesus on the cross.
In a way we too are poisoned by the power of sin, and it is with sadness that our God who holds us in such great regard also is deeply saddened by seeing the effects of the poisons of sin lead us into injury and death. So the Master sends out the Dr. Jesus to administer the antidote which is his own blood and his life to clear away the toxins of our sin and make us well again. His clean and holy blood overcomes the poisons that would destroy our lives forever.
The symbol of the skull and cross bones holds a message of termination, of finality, of bones devoid of flesh. The skull and cross bones are such a stark image and a despairing one. It leaves the impression that death is the final state, as if life is simply finished and decayed away, there is nothing more after you die.
The message of the cross, while terrible, contains a message of hope for us who benefit from it. Through the power of Christ on the cross beams there is forgiveness and a new chance at life because of what Jesus accomplished there for us. While the cross is a symbol of grievous suffering and a torturous death, it is also a symbol of the great compassion of our God. There Jesus enters into the worst that our sin can do in order to set us free from its poison in our lives and give us release, freedom and a new life in him. May our bones and that which lives within our skulls raise praise and rejoice in what has been accomplished for us at the place of the skull by Jesus for us.1
1 This sermon is the result of the team work, dialogue, and collaboration of Pastor Julianna Wehrfritz-Hanson and Pastor Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson.