All over the world there are signs of the cross of Christ. Churches prominently display it. Both the religious and non-religious drape it around their necks as a beautiful piece of jewelry. Homes have crosses hanging as pieces of art on their walls. May I ask, “What if there never was a cross? What if Jesus never died? What if He never rose again?” If that was the case, what would change as a result?
Let me boldly state, if there never was a cross, the world today would be completely different. There would be nothing but evil, darkness, emptiness and hopelessness in every home. Why? Because the cross of Christ is the centerpiece of our world. It is the foundational hope of all humanity. Praise God for the cross!
Peter, one of Jesus’ Apostles, gave a message at the home of Cornelius, a man who lived 70 miles outside of Jerusalem. There were several people gathered to hear what Peter had to say about Jesus’ and what was happening in Jerusalem following His death. In that brief message Peter stated the following about Christ, “They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day… (Acts 10:39-40) What was Peter communicating to his listeners? The centrality of the cross of Christ. If that one statement was removed from his talk, it would have changed everything.
What do I mean when I say, “the cross?” I am referring to the death and resurrection of Christ and the judgement and mercy of God shown through it.
Why was Peter talking about the cross, and why do people still talk about it, nearly 2,000 years after Jesus hung on a tree outside Jerusalem? Because their Lord commanded them to. It is written, “Then he [Jesus] opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” (Luke 24:45-47)
Why did Jesus command the message about Him and His cross be shared with the world? Because of the implications, it has for every human being.
From the earliest days of humanity, evil and lawlessness have reigned upon the earth. Amid this, was always a remnant of God-fearing men and women through the Jewish nation that worshipped and served the Lord God. This proved to be a restraint upon evil, when people were called to turn from their immoral ways and live according to the holy ways of God. When Christ died and rose again, God took what He was doing through the Jewish nation and expanded it to the whole world. As a result, this became good news for all. Salvation then became available to all humanity, regardless of gender, race, religion, or culture. And what does salvation refer to? The forgiveness of sins.
Every human being has the curse of sin within them. It is the cause of all immorality in the world. The death and resurrection of Christ means mankind can be delivered from this.
When someone engages in any form of disobedience against God, which often reveals itself in how we treat others, it exposes the sin that unknowingly is enslaving them.
The cross broke this curse! It provided a way for you to be set free. If you acknowledge your sins, turn from them and place your full faith in Christ alone, there is mercy. It waits for you at the foot of the cross. You can avoid the judgement of God, and become a new creation. Jesus has the authority and power to make this available to all who cry out to Him in faith. Come to the cross and be changed today.
A prayer for you. “Lord God, thank you for the cross. We praise you for all you have done for the whole world. We come to the cross this hour, and ask for our heart to be searched and changed by your grace. Make us new creations. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Join Clint and Kathe Decker on a trip to the Holy Land in November of 2024. Details coming soon.