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The Message of the Cross



The Cross of Christ! Need I say more? Unfortunately, yes. Modern, popular Christianity teaches people that their sins are “simply wiped away.” While God will and does forgive us, we can never forget our sins are not just erased and forgotten. The Cross of Christ reminds us that He paid the due penalty for our sins. Christ died in our place! He died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6). The Grace of God is free but not cheap. It cost Him more than you and I could afford to pay. As we prepare to celebrate the Resurrection, we must remember what He has accomplished for us. The cross reveals the power of God to save us (1 Corinthians 1:18). However, it is God that we put our faith in, not the cross. I would never discredit the significance of the cross, but the cross only matters because Christ died on it.

            We feel pressure to preach the cross to lost people. Indeed, they need to learn the significance of the cross, but without God’s help, they will never understand that message. The Apostle said, “The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 NASB). There are a few reasons why those who are not being saved consider the word of the cross foolish. First, how could God die in such a way? The Apostles dealt with challenges like that regularly. For the lost, it is ridiculous to believe that the Christ of God would die like that. Second, the cross is an image of death. We would think someone is crazy or demonic if they were to get an electric chair tattooed on their arm. That is foolish! Now, to those of us who have placed our faith in Christ, the cross reveals the power of God.

            How do we preach the message of the cross without sounding foolish to those needing His salvation? The solution comes down to fully grasping the message of the cross. The cross demonstrates God’s love (Romans 5:8). That demonstration also reveals how far God was willing to go for everyone (John 3:16). Christian discipleship is not a spectator sport. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24 NASB). Preaching the cross is not about words from our mouths but shouting it with our hearts, showing it with our actions, and following Christ. Everything we say or do should demonstrate the love of God to everyone around us. The message of the cross removes politics, race, culture, nationality, gender, and all of the other junk we try to add. Our efforts should not be motivated by selfish ambition but by a desire to show people how much God loves them and how far He is willing to go for them. We can claim Christ and His cross all we want, but if we do not do these things, we don’t understand what He accomplished on the cross. If all we do is shout about the cross with words, we will never reach the lost. However, if we demonstrate the message of the cross in our lives, perhaps they will see its significance. Our actions, empowered by God’s Spirit, can reveal the power of God to save (1 Cor. 1:18). Preach with your actions!

 

May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

(2 Thessalonians 3:5 NASB)

 

In Christ,

Pastor Josh May

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