July 25

The Centrality of the Cross

John 19:17-22

In Jesus’ day, the cross was used by the Roman government to execute criminals. God transformed it into a symbol that unites Christians everywhere. It stands at the heart of what we believe and serves as a central focus of the gospel message.

When we consider the cross, we will think about . . .

Jesus and His perfect life.Our Savior left heaven to dwell on earth and become one of us. While here, He obediently accomplished the work His Father had given Him (John 5:19). Because of His perfect life, He alone was qualified to be our substitute and bear God’s judgment for our sins.

Crucifixion.Christ went willingly to the cross in order to reconcile us to God. He suffered a painful death on our behalf, and through His sacrifice, our sin debt has been paid. God’s justice was completely satisfied at Calvary. No further action is required.

Resurrection and ascension.Three days after Jesus was buried, God raised Him from the dead. The Savior’s sacrifice on the cross was accepted as payment for our sins, and the way to heaven was opened for all who trust in Jesus. Our resurrected Lord, having appeared on earth to many people, ascended to live forever with His Father. Jesus conquered death and made it possible for us to dwell in heaven with Him someday.

Every Sunday I invite people to place their faith in Jesus Christ. Because of the cross and what happened there, such an invitation has great value to the hearer. In fact, the events of Calvary continue to be relevant to Christians of all ages. Take time today to thank the Lord for the cross.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.