remember the cross
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Heavenly Father, you are the way, the truth and the light. It is through your sacrifice that we are healed in spirit. Let us never forget the meaning of the cross. Amen.
“’He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you were healed.'” – 1 Peter 2:14
What does the cross represent for you? Many people around the world see it today as a symbol of Christianity, but stop and think about what it stood for in the time of Christ. No one wore miniature crosses around their necks or displayed them in a place of worship. The cross was a torturous means of execution, and the mere thought of it was repugnant.
Yet believers down through the ages have chosen this as a sign of their faith. In fact, removing the cross from our teaching and our theology would only leave a religion empty and powerless. The subjects of death, blood and sacrifice have become unpopular in many churches because they are unpleasant and uncomfortable subjects. We would rather hear about God‘s love, not Jesus’ suffering.
But let me ask you this: how could anyone be saved if Christ had not been crucified? Some people think that all you have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is ask Him. But a sinner’s request can never be the basis of His forgiveness. He would cease to be holy and righteous if no penalty was imposed for sin. According to Scripture, there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Heb. 9:22). Christ had to bear the penalty for our sins in order for God to grant us forgiveness.
Every time you see a cross, remember what it really was – an instrument of execution. Next, thank Jesus for agreeing to be crucified so that the Father can forgive you of your sins. Although the scene of your redemption was horrific, Christ turned the cross into a place of great triumph.
Editor’s Note: The following is adapted from The Necessity of the Cross by Dr. Charles Stanley. To read the original article, follow this link.
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