When you look at the new Grace Bible Church logo, you see a simple image of a cross standing atop waves of water. Water is a significant symbol throughout Scripture. In the Old Testament the sea often embodies the forces of chaos that are against God’s rule. “The deep” and “the waters” are present in the primeval chaos before God begins His creative act (Gen 1:2), part of which was to subdue and gather these waters together, exercising His sovereignty over them by setting their boundaries (Gen 1:10; Job 38:8-10). The flood itself was an act of “un-creation,” a return to chaos as those boundaries were broken (Gen 7:11).
The watery chaos is also portrayed as Sheol, the abode of evil and place of the dead. Jonah describes Sheol as “the deep,” “the heart of the seas,” where “waters closed in over me” and “the deep surrounded me” (Jonah 2:1-5). It is in the sea that great sea monsters—representing forces of evil and chaos—dwell (Job 7:12; 9:8; 41:31-32; Rev 13:1). The power of the raging sea is a visceral image of the chaos and evil present in this fallen world.
Yet the sea, like all things, is a part of God’s creation and is under His authority. It was from that place of watery chaos that the Lord rescued Jonah (Jonah 2:6). David, too, writes that the Lord “drew me out of many waters” (Psalm 18:16). God used the sea to save Israel from Egypt (Exodus 15:4-6). Scripture recognizes that God alone has authority to conquer evil and secure salvation for His people, and this is illustrated in His mastery over the waters. This rich symbolism is why the praise of the Lord for His triumph over the raging sea was an important part of Israel’s worship (Ps 18:15; 29:3; 77:16).
God’s ultimate triumph, of course, was through the cross. The cross sitting atop the waters depicts God’s sovereignty over evil and His saving work in Christ. Through the cross God rescues us from the forces of evil and death (Heb 2:14); the cross stands triumphant over all. Thus, the New Testament draws on the symbolic power of water in a new way. Paul tells us that the church is cleansed “by the washing of water with the word” (Eph 5:26). Indeed baptism—immersion in water—becomes a symbol of the salvific work of Christ accomplished on the cross (1 Peter 3:20). In this simple image of the cross sitting atop waves of water the story of redemption is encapsulated.
As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Images have the ability to communicate profound truths in a deep and impactful way. Our hope is that when you look at our new logo, you will be reminded of what our God accomplished on the cross: victory over evil and salvation for us.
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