Power of the cross
By Ivan Ho
10 Apr 2020
The cross reveals the heart of true followers
During the time of Jesus on earth, the crowd who were initially following Jesus didn’t really know Him, and no longer followed Him when His teachings didn’t fit in with their mindsets and cultural upbringings. Many were responding to their peers instead of responding to Jesus. When the crowd sang Hosanna to Jesus, they followed suit. When the crowd wanted to crucify Jesus, they put up their hands as well.
They were emotional, soulish followers whose emotions got stirred easily by external influences and the people and atmosphere around them.
Unfortunately, there are many soulish followers as well who attend churches today. Such followers will not last the course when the goings get tough, when their faith get tested. Hope you and I are not like these fickle followers who are looking for a god who will always pamper and make us feel good.
The death of Jesus on the cross was a testing time for His followers. The ones who continued to believe would see and partake the glory of His resurrection.
The cross was why Jesus came
When Jesus came as a Man on earth, His primary purpose wasn’t to perform miracles and heal the sick, although these are all important works of Jesus. If Jesus just did all these miracles to demonstrate His power and to show to everyone He was God, then went back to heaven without dying on the cross, He would have missed His primary assignment on earth at His first coming.
The death and resurrection of Jesus wasn’t an optional event nor an afterthought. Right in the beginning, it was in God’s masterplan that Jesus must go to the cross. At the opportune time, our Lord revealed to His disciples that He must suffer, die and be raised on the third day.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
The cross is the place of total obedience
When Jesus was about to face His death on the cross of Calvary He was full of agony and said to His Father in heaven: “If you are willing, let this cup pass by me, yet not My will but Yours be done!“. Luke 22:41-42
The cross was the place that demonstrated our Lord Jesus’s total obedience to the will of God the Father, even to the point of death. Jesus could have opted out of the cross but He chose against His own will in total obedience to the Father!
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
The cross releases the power of forgiveness
While we were yet sinners, Jesus died for all of us sinners. (Romans 5:8)
If there was another way that mankind can be saved from our sins, Jesus would not have to die on the cross. Paul the apostle said: “If Jesus wasn’t raised from his death, we are still in our sins“. In other words, the death and resurrection of Christ is the only way by which our sins can be forgiven.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1 Corinthians 16-17
Jesus the only Man who knew no sin took the death penalty of sin upon Himself so that our sins can be forgiven. No good deeds and no religion can save any person from his or her sins. Only the blood of Jesus shed on the cross can cleanse us from all our sins.
It does not matter what you have gone through, what sins you have committed in the past, today if you would repent and accept Jesus into your life as your Lord and Saviour, your sins are totally forgiven! You will no longer be judged for your sins and perish in hell. Instead, eternal life begins when Jesus becomes Lord over your life!
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
The cross is the point of no return
The cross is the point of no return in that Jesus only had to die on the cross once and for all, and lives forever after His resurrection. The cross is the point where you and I must cross from death to life, the point in our life when we die to self and live for God from that moment onwards.
If one only feels sorry about his sins and confesses about his wrongdoings but has never been truely born again in Christ, he is still, spiritually speaking, dead. Some only feel sorry and confess their sins to the priests every now and then but never make the decision to follow Christ. Others treat Jesus like a new lover whom they would welcome and embrace, but deep down, they still hold onto the memories of their ex relationships. Whenever they don’t feel God’s love, they would try to revive their old memory files. Sadly, these people have never really gone through their personal death on the cross, the point of no return, but instead keep on reviving their past life.
There must come a point in a person’s life when he or she makes the commitment to die to self once and for all and to live for Christ: “It’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!”
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.