Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Power of the Cross
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of having lunch with Billy Graham. I was a bit nervous, and I had all of these questions swimming through my mind.
Finally, I turned to him and said, “If you knew as a younger preacher what you know today, would you emphasize anything more as a younger preacher that you find yourself emphasizing today?”
Without missing a beat, he responded, “I would preach more on the cross and on the blood. That is where the power is.”
I took note of that. There’s power in the message of the cross, in the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
The power of the cross is, for all practical purposes, the message of Scripture. The first book of the Bible, Genesis, clearly speaks of Jesus’ life and death. After Satan led Adam and Eve into sin, God judged Satan and said to him, “He [the Messiah] shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15). This is the first Scripture that actually points to the coming Messiah, who would crush the head of Satan.
The prophet Isaiah spoke of the Suffering Servant who “was wounded for our transgressions . . . and by His stripes we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Throughout the Old Testament, we see glimpses of Jesus Christ. And the New Testament reinforces over and over again this central message that Jesus came to die.
From the very beginning, Jesus’ death and resurrection were a part of God’s plan. The crucifixion was not an interruption of an otherwise successful ministry. It was all part of God’s plan to bring about the redemption of humanity.
Jesus was born to die for our sins. That is the power of the cross.
Copyright © 2008 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
The Bible says, "If any man be in Christ, he is an altogether different kind of person. Old things have passed away. Everything becomes fresh and new." That is the truth I want you and everyone who reads this book to come away with. And it is a message not just of hope, but also of Christ's redemptive power.