Among the emblems that we see all over the world, none is admired, glorified and even worshipped as the Cross. The Cross was the instrument of Christ’s suffering and death. It is also the instrument of our salvation.
The history of the Cross is quite interesting. It goes back several thousands of years, long before Christ came down to earth. The practice was to fasten the victim to the cross by cords, or his hands and feet were nailed to the cross and he was left there to die. The heat from the Sun, the pull on the body, and the torture that the victim would have experienced before he was put on the cross, would take its toll and eventually the victim would give up the ghost. Sometimes it took a few hours, a day, two days, or even a week before the victim would breath their last. It was a terrible and most painful way to die.
In later years, after the death of Christ on the Cross at Calvary, many nations began to use it as a symbol of Christianity. It was embossed upon chariots and other items. The Cross became the symbol of everything that Christianity stood for. Through organizations like the Red Cross, it has become an international sign of goodwill and help to people in need all over the world.
The Cross represents the love that God has for humanity. Every human being had a part in the death of Christ. His death was planned before the foundation of the world because of the sin of mankind. God demonstrated His love for us by sacrificing His Only Begotten Son to suffer the consequences of our sin so that nothing would hinder our relationship with Him. Jesus endured the humiliation and sufferings of the Cross, to the point of death in order to fulfil the purpose for which He came to earth. The price that Jesus paid at the Cross was for all of humanity. It includes those in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Russia, China, America, Canada, Australia, and indeed the whole world. Whoever you are, wherever you are, the message of the Cross of Jesus Christ is very clear. He says, “I LOVE YOU AND DIED FOR YOU, THAT YOU MAY LIVE A LIFE OF ABUNDANCE.”
When we take a look at the magnitude of Jesus’ suffering at the Cross, it is overwhelming. It was so overwhelming that at some point, Jesus cried out saying, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?” God Who is Holy and Righteous and Pure, cannot behold evil and so He could not look upon His Son Who was made to carry the sin of the world. In that terrible moment of agony, Jesus was lonely and felt abandoned by His Father. The One Who knew no sin, never told a lie, never had an evil thought, never had any greed or lust, was made to become sin. All the filth and dirt from my life and yours were placed upon Him. None of us will ever be able to fully understand the mystery of that particular moment. It was because of God’s great love for you and I that He allowed His Son to take all that suffering.
Another thing that Jesus said from the Cross was, “ Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they do.” He wasn’t just referring to the soldiers who tortured Him and nailed Him to the Cross, or the crowd that had gathered and were making a mockery of Him. He was referring to you and I whose sins He was being punished for. He was saying, “I am doing this for all of humanity, because I love them.”
God never intended that anybody would ever die. He did not create hell for us either. But we deliberately rebelled against God, and God would not be God, He would not be Just and Righteous and Holy if He came along and patted us on the back and said, “You’re forgiven.” We had to die for our sins, or somebody who was qualified had to die in our place. The Only qualified person was His Son, Jesus Christ, and He volunteered to do it. He died in our place.
Another statement that Jesus made from the Cross was, “it is finished.” What did He mean? In the Book of John 17:4, Jesus said, “I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do.” God, The Father, gave Him a job to do, and that job was to die on the Cross. Again, in the Book of John 18:37 in response to Pilate, He said, “This is why I was born, and for this have I come into the world, to bear witness to the Truth.” Jesus’ real assignment was the Cross. That is why the Cross is so important and must never be trivialized.
Jesus died to guarantee eternal life for all who will believe in Him. The human body goes to the grave at death, but the soul, the human spirit, that part of us that lives forever is going to live on and on. Where the human soul will spend eternity is determined how we respond to Jesus Christ and what He did at the Cross. From the Cross, Jesus is asking you to repent of sin and receive Him as your personal Lord and Saviour.
We were once lost, confused, without purpose and meaning in life. No assurance of eternal life, but Jesus came and died on the Cross to rescue from our hopeless state. Everyone is welcome to the new life in Christ Jesus, even the vilest sinner.
At the Cross, there were two thieves crucified on either side of Jesus. The crowd around Him were jeering and taunting Him, “If You are the Son of God, come down and save Yourself.” Others were saying, “He saved others but He cannot save Himself.” They were having fun at His expense. The two thieves were part of the mockery, but at some point, one of the thieves had a rethink. He knew he was guilty and deserved to die in accordance with Roman law. But the man beside Him was different, He has done nothing deserving of death. He began to say to himself, “This must be the Son of God. He must be Lord.” And he rebuked the other thief saying, “Don’t you fear God? We deserve what we are getting but this man has not done anything wrong.” Then he turned to Jesus and said, “Lord, remember me when You come to Your kingdom.” What an act of faith! And Jesus said to him, “today you will be with Me in paradise.” A thief who deserved to be in hell was pardoned at the Cross because of his faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The forgiveness and mercy of God is so far beyond our human comprehension. Yes, that thief is going to be in heaven and you are going to see him.
I’m asking everyone to make a recommitment to Jesus Christ today. To repent of our sins. To change the way we are living [if we are not living to honour God], to change our attitude. God knows that we cannot do it on our own and that’s why He has promised to help us.
We must be willing to let go of everything in our life that contends with Him for first place, and be willing to follow Him and serve Him wholeheartedly.
We don’t become perfect when we submit our lives to Jesus Christ but the direction of our life will change. The Holy Spirit begins to direct our lives on a path that is completely different from the way of the world.
Father, please touch the hearts of men, women, boys and girls all over the world and stir up their hearts towards Your Son, Jesus, that the world may truly begin to see Your glory manifested everywhere, in the Name of Jesus, Amen!
Thank You Jesus.
Jesus Loves You.
Father! In The Mighty Name Of Jesus Christ Your Son! We Cover Your Son Pastor E A Adeboye With The Precious Blood Of Jesus! He Shall Finish Strong, To Your Glory Through Christ Jesus Our Lord And Saviour! Amen!
May God Bless Israel, Nigeria, And America And Take Care Of Us; May God Make His Face Shine Upon Us, And Be Gracious To Us; May The Lord Lift Up His Countenance Upon Us, And Give Us Peace, In Jesus Christ Name, We Pray! Amen!
May The Grace The Lord Jesus Christ, And The Love Of God, And The Fellowship Of The Holy Spirit Be With You All. Amen!
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