by Impact Church
In the first century, crucifixion was an ordinary means that the Romans used to execute offenders. However, there is one crucifixion that stands alone in significance and eternal ramifications. The cross of Christ, although considered foolish and unnecessary, takes its place as the most important event in the history of the world. The cross was the culmination of heaven’s plan, Christ’s assignment, and the desire of all mankind. May the cross be at the center of our focus and attention as we enter into this Easter season. Even as Paul said he, “Passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 emphasis added)
All four gospel accounts provide record of the events that led up to and the actual occasion of the crucifixion of Christ. Treated and tried as a criminal, Jesus was innocent of the charges levied against Him. However, it was necessary that He be crucified. We believe that it was at the cross where Jesus Christ made the atonement for sin. It is because of this that the work of the cross, for us who believe, is not foolish or absurd but it “is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18)! The cross of Christ provides every believer with a powerful testimony and message. In fact, it is the platform and medium where God spoke the loudest and clearest. It was Augustine who said, “The cross was a pulpit in which Christ preached His love to the world”.
What occurred at the cross is at the center of our beliefs as Christians. It’s the very reason for our faith – the cross is the foundation for our faith, for our relationship with God, and our new life in Christ. Christ’s free surrender of His own life was the highlighting purpose of His incarnation and the ultimate intention of His coming. He was not deterred by anything or anybody. Even those closest to Him, who attempted to convince Him that the cross was unnecessary, were powerless as He “set His face toward Jerusalem” and fulfilled the will of His Father.
May the cross be remembered this Easter in your life as never before!
“I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as ‘God on the cross.’ In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us.”