The cross represents and deserves more than a once per year celebration or recognition. The cross and what it stands for, is to be acknowledged 365 days of the year. It speaks to our redemption and reconciliation. It tells of the love of God and the sacrifice of Jesus. It’s bloody and gruesome, but never has more love been poured out anywhere at anytime, than that day on a roadside in Jerusalem. The power of the cross is not reflected in the wood, but in the One who hung willingly there, beholding our faces in the crowd, securing salvation for those present and those who were yet to be born. John 10:16 The power of the cross is still causing offense to those who rejected and are rejecting Jesus still today. Crucify Him! Was the song of the mob over 2000 plus years ago. Remove the cross, scrub His Name from any thing that causes conviction in the public square, is the new song of the mob today.
There’s a lawsuit building in a graveyard because a young scout had the nerve to put these words on a stone in a military cemetery:
Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American soldier. One died for your soul, the other died for your freedom.
So a anti-religious group took offense to the mention of Jesus. They take offense at the cross being put up anywhere, even on private property. But it isn’t the cross that offends them, it’s who and what it represents. People have been offended for centuries, yet, the cross and the One who hung on it, has not lost its power. Try though they may, Jesus will be magnified. The cross still leads the way to victory. Why is Satan fighting the cross so much? Why is the Name of Jesus so hated throughout the world? Two words. VICTORY and DEFEAT.
Victory for those who discover its power and defeat for those who reject it. Jesus had these words for Pilate. “You would have no power over Me if it were not given to you from above” this exchange came about when Pilate told Jesus he had power to free Him or crucify Him. John 19. Another writer of the gospels took it even further in his account.
“Don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and He would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what must happen now?”
Matthew 26:53-54 NLT
Jesus chose to die. His love for us and His obedience to the Father, outweighed the suffering. This is crazy unexplainable love. Satan didn’t and still doesn’t get it. That’s why he works overtime trying to get us to ignore the cross and deny it’s power. It defeated him. He thought Jesus’ crucifixion was the end of his torment. But it was just beginning. The unsaved world is doing his bidding. While he stands aside waiting for their destruction. Hell, which was prepared just for him and the fallen angels, has now enlarged itself to accommodate those who have chosen to follow him. Isaiah 5:14, Matthew 25:41.
The cross will not loose its significance, the Name of Jesus and His shed blood, will never be diminished or stripped of its power. People are still drawn to Him. People are still seeking, people are still surrendering to its power. The devil can’t stop it, cancel culture can’t stop it, atheists are dropping like flies. Those who have set out to disprove the story of the cross and the One who died on it and rose triumphantly from the cruelty of it, have succumbed to its power. Hallelujah!
Just ask J. Warner Wallace, Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel to name a few. These men were avowed atheist, who had set out to disprove the gospel accounts. But the power of the cross changed their lives. What happened? Evidence outweighed scrutiny.
The Jesus hating crowds will soon discover their need of Him. Their very breath is from Him. How merciful is our great God. The cross is the reason why they’re not consumed. John 3:16-17. The love that took the beatings, jeering, spitting and the condescension of men. The love that held Him to the cross. That love, has allowed us free choice to reject or accept Him. A love that does not compel or force us to believe. We don’t even realize what we’re doing. Luke 23:34. Such love.... the silence of God must not be mistaken for the absence of God. Jesus felt abandoned by God at His crucifixion. Because the holiness of God would not permit Him to look at how our sin had covered and disfigured His son. His temporary abandonment and separation from the Father, secured for all eternity our closeness to the Father. Nothing will ever separate us from His love. Romans 8:39. That’s the ultimate power of the cross.
The cross, is an offense to many. But a symbol of love, hope and forgiveness for those who by faith, will run into His open arms. Just as they were spread out and nailed mercilessly to that slab of wood, they’re now extended to us, nail scarred, but filled with compassion saying come closer, come to Me, I will give you rest. The power of the cross, celebrated once per year, but daily drawing souls to new life in Jesus Christ.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 KJV
Scripture focus : John 19, Psalm 22:18, Psalm 34:20, Matthew 26:56, Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 13:7
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit
April 13, 2021