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Our heading is the result of some reflective thought concerning two “happenings,” both on Good Friday, and both in the area of public communications. The one was on television, the other in a leading midwestern newspaper.

The first incident is that in the news broadcasts for that day much was said about its being the first anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. If on the other hand it was mentioned at all, the fact that this same day was also the anniversary of the death of a far greater King was used mainly by way of allusion. It created a dramatic background. It served to emphasize the martyr quality in the death of this modern victim of violence.

The second item refers to a front-page cartoon that exploited the significance of Good Friday. It showed a huge cross bearing down on a ragged and emaciated tax-paying citizen, bringing him to the verge of collapse. Drawn in the familiar shape of modern missile weaponry, the two parts of this cross represented the ever-increasing cost of future intercontinental nuclear warfare.

Our reason for drawing attention to the first of these incidents is not to detract anything from the tragedy of that assassination of a year ago. In fact, that event may well serve as a vivid symbol of things which should weigh heavily on the conscience of our nation, which should stand as a call to repentance and a return to sanity in the handling of the complex problems of race. But not for a moment should it be permitted to obliterate or even dim the memory of that Great Event of almost two thousand years ago, that Event which brought about the perfect solution for the greatest problem of all time. By the sacrifice brought on Calvary by the Son of God, where He offered His very Life and Blood, full and complete satisfaction was rendered for the sins of all the world. There, and there alone, true healing is to be found for the grievous wounds which threaten the very life of all mankind, and particularly of our beloved country today.

To which King, then, does our loyalty belong? There can be only One. As for the cartoon referred to above, little more need be said. If not directly sacrilegious, it was, to say the least, highly irreverent and in very poor taste. We grant without argument that taxes can become burdensome indeed. But even for a moment to compare their weight with the weight of that cross which was borne for us by our Lord Jesus is so completely out of proportion that the two should not be shown on the same sheet of newsprint. For His true cross consisted of the sins of all mankind. And although on that Way to Calvary the cross of wood was beyond His waning strength, yet under the weight of that real burden of our sin He did not fail us. This He bore unfalteringly to the very end.

As for the choice, “Which Cross?” we grant that the purpose of that cartoon may well have been to save future generations from ruinous taxation. But for our real hope and salvation, let us ever look to and hold fast the True Cross, our One Salvation.

In this series we are reprinting Spokesman articles by early leaders in the CLC. Pastor James Albrecht is the curator of the series.

Professor Edmund Reim (1892-1969) was a leader in the formation of the CLC. He served as president of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WELS) until 1957, when conscience compelled him to leave his former fellowship for doctrinal reasons. He subsequently became president of Immanuel Lutheran Seminary. This article is from the Lutheran Spokesman of May 1965. Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.