The power of the cross
In 1 Cor 1:18-19 of the New Testament we read an important verse that declares the flashpoint of the power of God and the power of the Gospel. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The cross is one of the most familiar icons in the world today. It is seen both outside and inside of tens of thousands of Christian churches around the world. Sadly, as familiar as the cross may be, there is a strange and mysterious silence concerning its meaning in our day even in the church.
It is not coincidental that other Christian doctrines closely related to the Cross have also become unpopular and distasteful in public discussion. Some of these are, “Universal human depravity,” “individual responsibility and accountability,” and ultimately, “certain judgement of God.” These doctrines, of course, are the very ones that help explain the meaning and message of the cross but have become unacceptable topics for serious public discussions.
In past times there was at least, some debate as to who bore the responsibility for putting the only sinless man to ever live, to death on the cross. Was it Judas Iscariot who betrayed him? Or, the weak-willed Pilot who condemned him to death after declaring, “I find no fault in Him.” Or was it the Jews who cried, “crucify him, crucify him?” But, we don’t even hear that debate anymore.
To be sure they were all guilty but every one of us were their accomplices and every one of us own a share of the guilt for the death of Christ because the Bible declares in Rom.3:23 that, ”All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
The great Old Testament prophet Isaiah makes it perfectly clear that Christ did not die for his own sins for He for he was the Son of God, innocent and sinless. Instead the prophet declares the dark truth that it was the guilt and sins of all humanity that made Christs death on the cross necessary. In other words, because in God’s justice, an acceptable substitute for the atonement of sin must be without moral blemish. Not even the death of the one who sinned could remove his guilt. But, the death of a perfect substitute could. Isaiah writes, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed Isa. 53:5.
The amazing power of the cross is in the fact that Jesus sacrificed His perfect and sinless life that any and all humanity including the worst among us might, through believing its message, be restored to our original relationship with the Creator.
Another aspect of the power of the cross of Christ is not only was Jesus raised from the dead.
In three days but the Scriptures tell us in John 10:18 that it would have been impossible for Him to die in the first place, unless He willingly laid his life down.
Pastor Gene Holman of Living Word Fellowship in Gardnerville is a member of Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.