I was reading “The Writers Almanac” this morning and discovered it was Gustav Eiffel’s birthday (Wednesday December 15th 1832).. In his day Eiffel was a famous designer of the iron structures. He designed the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty and many beautiful bridges. We know him for his famous tower in Paris, “The Eiffel Tower” built for the Universal Exposition in 1889.
As construction began in 1886 so did the controversy. Many artists, writers and Parisian thought the stark design was an atrocity and an affront to the beautiful architecture and design of Paris. Pamphlets and newspaper articles were written but construction went on. When the tower was completed in March 31st 1889. The controversy and opposition died down once the tower was completed and the positive response it received from the throng of visitors who first visited the tower.
This once derided tower is now reproduced in mass quantity. You find Eiffel Tower clocks, paperweights and snow globes. It shows up in artwork and is a must see for anyone who visits Paris.
It reminds me of the Cross. We don’t know who built the cross that our LORD died on. We do know it was controversial in the beginning. How could the LORD and KING of the universe be executed in such a manner only common criminals and scum die that way? Some didn’t believe that the physical Jesus died but his spirit was not on the Cross. Over the centuries the controversy has died down. Now you find the cross reproduced everywhere on t-shirts, on jewelry, artwork, hats and bumper stickers.
Even though it has been reproduced millions of times, the Cross has not lost its power. The power is not in the reproduction but in who died on the original! When one stops and thinks about what happened on that old rugged cross hundreds of years ago the power of that moment returns. Every Sunday when we eat Communion together we remember that our LORD died for our sins. That powerful and controversial event’s impact can not be diminished.
(For more information on the Eiffel Tower visit the official Eiffel Tower website and for more information on the Cross read Matthew thru Revelation in your Bible.)