What the Cross Says

by APC on March 30, 2015

Many people don’t realize crucifixion was the cruelest form of execution ever pronounced on a human being. According to history, the average thief wasn’t crucified; it was reserved for those who had committed the worst atrocities. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—who knew no sin—faced the cruel and rugged cross, and suffered 9 hours for all of us.

It was after those 9 hours, Jesus spoke 3 profound words: It is finished (John 19:30). These words did not just proclaim His death. Something happened in the spiritual realm that day. With Jesus’ death, He changed the course of history and paved the way for all of us to experience the power of His Spirit working in our lives. Jesus paid the penalty and paid the debt for every sin that every person would ever commit—past, present, and future.

Paul told the Corinthian church: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (I Corinthians 1:18, KJV). We need to understand the blood shed on the cross covers our sin, the cross has not changed today, and more importantly, the power of the cross has not changed.

What the Cross is Still Saying

Our Place Has Been Taken

Jesus didn’t just die on the cross for us, but He died in our place. We were all shaped in iniquity (Psalms 51:5) and have all sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The sin in our lives will lead us to death and destruction (Romans 6:23). If we follow our own desires and fall short of God’s expectations for us, we will face a certain death (James 1:15).

Our sin is typically rooted in pride. Pride is more than what we think it is—it is self-preference and self-focus. Pride goes beyond merely acting like we’re better than other people. It starts with being self-absorbed and self-centered. If we want to please ourselves rather than God or other people, we have pride issues.

Jesus took our pride, made Himself our sin, and took upon our guilt (II Corinthians 5:21). He became all of our mistakes and took our place at the guillotine. His sacrifice should become personal for all of us. We know we’re not perfect and can acknowledge our shortcomings. But, Jesus loved us so much that He died so we could have a chance at everlasting life. Each day we need to be thankful that Jesus took our place and that He paid the ultimate price so we would not have to face death, hell, and the grave.

Our Debt Has Been Paid

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to this cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it (Colossians 2:13–15).

Jesus’ blood made a way for each of us to be forgiven for all our sins. He wouldn’t have died on the cross if we didn’t have sin in our life. However, Satan tries to convince people that we don’t have sin and God doesn’t have a plan for the way He wants His creation to live.

We need to remember that God’s law applies to everyone and we are all guilty before Him (Romans 3:19–20). Everything we’ve done has been recorded against us. Every time we disobey the Bible or God’s Word this is marked against us as a sin.

Because we’ve fallen short, and were born into sin, we’ve created a gap between us and God. The only way to close that gap is so repay what we owe. This price is our life. But, Jesus paid that debt and closed the gap. When we believe in God and follow His Word, the power of the cross is activated in our life. Jesus’ blood blotted out every sin ever recorded against us and paid our ultimate debt! Without Jesus and His death on the cross, we would all be lost, and not have the ability to be saved from our sins.

Activating the Cross’s Power in Our Life

Fifty days after the death of Jesus on the cross (Passover) Peter preached a message on the day of Pentecost. When people realized their Lord and Savior was crucified on the cross, they were pricked in their hearts. They asked Peter what they needed to do to be saved. Peter explained the way of salvation in Acts 2:38: repentance, baptism, and the promise of the infilling of the Holy Ghost.

God is still pouring out His Spirit on all flesh—on those who’ve had their sins blotted out by the blood shed on the cross. We need to listen to the cross today. It’s calling out to us to remind us its purpose and how it’s still relevant to us. If we make the decision to believe on Him and abide by His Word, we can be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Adapted from Sunday Morning Service on March 29, 2015