Key Verse: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Romans 1:16
It is often only really at Easter that we stop to really consider what the cross meant in Jesus day. I think, for the most part, we have become so familiar with the cross that we have forgotten much of the impact it had in the first century. We see it around necks, on church pulpit, windows, and Bibles. For people of Jesus day, the cross a horrible symbol. To get an idea of how they would have felt upon seeing a cross, we can imagine a picture of an electric chair, a loose or a gallows being placed on windows or around necks. In Roman society, crucifixion was a taboo word that children were not allowed to speak.
What does the cross mean to you?
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” We must have a true understand of what happened upon the cross. This is the focal point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is “We preach Christ crucified.” (1 Corinthians 1:23).
Billy Graham wrote that the cross is, “the radiant hope of the world, the end of the believer’s bondage to sin, and the love of God shed abroad in the hearts of men. A lone man dying on a cross did more to restore man’s lost harmony with God, his fellowman, and himself, than the combined genius and power of earth’s mighty. With my finite limitations, I cannot fully comprehend the mystery of Christ’s atonement. I only know that all who come to the cross in simple, trusting faith lose all their guilty stains and find peace with God.”
The cross is a glorious demonstration of God’s love and power. Paul writes in Romans 5:6-8, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He continues in Romans 8:11, “ And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”