by Pastor Greg Laurie
Contemplating the Cross
“How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
I heard about a man who was trying to start his own religion, but it wasn’t going very well so far. He decided to approach the French statesman, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, and ask him what he should do to gain converts. The statesman told him, “I recommend that you get yourself crucified, die, and then rise again on the third day.”
Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection on the third day is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. It is what sets our faith as Christians apart from the faith of all others. Yet many view Christ’s crucifixion as a rude interruption of what was an otherwise successful ministry. But the cross was at the forefront of the mind of Jesus Christ from the very beginning. This is where He knew He was headed, and He spoke of it often. The Bible even tells us that before He even came to this earth, a decision was made that He would ultimately go to the cross. Scripture calls Him “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
It was at the cross that the righteous demands of God were satisfied. It was at the cross that God and humanity were reconciled once again. It was at the cross that a decisive blow was dealt against Satan and his minions. It was at the cross that our very salvation was purchased. Therefore, we cannot talk about the cross too much or contemplate it too often. Mel Gibson’s new film, The Passion of the Christ, provides such an opportunity. I want to encourage you to not only see this film, but to invite an unbelieving friend to join you.
Copyright © 2004 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.