My subject today–”The Meaning of the Cross”–may strike you as being a bit theological and impractical. It sounds like the kind of thing that theology professors may enjoy discussing, but not the sort of thing that will help you work out problems in your marriage or raise your kids or pay your bills or overcome personal problems.

But in reality, there is no more practical subject in all the Bible. The cross of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. The cross reveals to us the character of God: His love for lost sinners and His perfect justice meet at the cross. If we want to grow in our love for God, which is the first and greatest commandment, then we must be growing to understand and appreciate of the cross, which shows us His great love. If we want to grow in godliness, we must grow in understanding the significance of the cross, which confronts the most prevalent and insidious of all sins, namely, pride.

The cross is the place where all the wounds of sin are healed. If you suffer from emotional problems–guilt, anxiety, depression, anger, or whatever–there is healing in the cross of Christ. If you are going through tragedy or suffering, there is comfort in abundance as you contemplate the sufferings of the spotless Savior on your behalf. After all, Peter wrote these very words to slaves who were suffering unjustly under cruel masters. The words about Christ’s wound (referring to the welts produced by whipping) must have spoken to the hearts of these slaves who were whipped unjustly. Peter knew that meditating on the cross would produce in them a heart of overflowing gratitude to the One who bore so much on their behalf.

Keeping the cross of Christ central will protect you from the many winds of false doctrine blowing in our day. Satan hates the cross because it sealed his doom and he is relentless in his attacks to undermine and thwart the cross. Every cult or false teaching in some way diminishes the work of Christ on the cross and magnifies human ability. I believe that the doctrine which Satan is currently working to erode in American Christianity is the doctrine of sin. If he can convince people that they are not sinners who deserve God’s wrath, then they don’t need a crucified Savior. If he can convince Christians that they are not ongoing sinners in daily need of repentance and the cleansing blood of Jesus, then they don’t need to go deeper in appropriating the message of the cross. Thus the centrality of the cross is crucial to all sound doctrine.

First Peter 2:24-25 shows us that

Through Christ’s death on the cross, those who turn to Him are delivered from both the penalty and the power of sin

No Responses to “THE OLD RUGGED CROSS”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: