“There is no Christianity without the cross. If the cross is not central to our religion, ours is not the religion of Jesus.” John R.W. Stott
Coming into the Easter season, I wanted to leave room for a couple weeks to just talk about the wonder and majesty of Christ’s work of salvation. It’s something we carry with us throughout each day of the year but as we celebrate Easter, the work of the cross and the sign of the empty grave are cemented into our souls once again. This is what truly matters. This is the message we never get past. The cross is everything and it is the mark of our belief in Jesus.
What strikes me this year more than any other in recent memory is the fact that the world is looking for truth. It wants to find something that is real and is reliable. The world is doing its best to create its own system of values and morals. Think about the “woke” movement of the day, identity politics, and cancel culture. All of these things are attempts to institute some sort of standard (random and arbitrary as it may be). But without the standard of Christ and without the hope of the cross, the world strives in vain to come up with any real solutions. Sure, it makes its own boasts and the powers that be seem to be setting up systems that reward or punish behavior. But the system is flawed. It has no basis in truth and is based upon emotions and feelings.
Contrast this to the message of the Gospel. There is no “gray area” when it comes to sin. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) We’ve all been cancelled if we’re honest. None of us are “woke” or awake enough. No one can claim higher authority because everyone has failed somehow, some way. No one can play God, no matter how powerful. Apart from Christ we are doomed to a life of eternal separation.
Oh but for the cross!
If God’s standard is perfection, we’ve broken it time and time again. We have no way to make up the difference. To offset the balance. To bridge the great chasm between us and God. But Jesus stepped in and took our pain. He bore our shame. He took our rightful punishment upon Himself.
Today’s blog is short because I want to give you time to just contemplate. Easter, just like Christmas, comes and goes very quickly. There’s some hype, some build-up, and then it’s over. And most of the build-up is extemporaneous stuff. Things that have nothing to do with the real story that surrounds Christ’s death and resurrection. Those distractions are on purpose. They’re meant to keep us from seeing once again what is truly real. They’re not necessarily bad. But they’re not necessarily helpful in getting us to ponder this message. To investigate this great Gospel once again.
So today I leave you with 3 questions. For many, the answers will already be made up your mind. I only encourage you again, cement those answers for your own walk in the Lord. If perhaps you don’t know the answers to these questions, I hope they point you to dig deeper. If you are unsure about any of these, I’d love to chat further. This is a safe place to ask, discuss, and ponder.
Three questions about the cross:
When did I believe that Jesus’ sacrifice was for me?
Why did Jesus have to die?
What does Christ’s death mean for me personally?
If you’ve had some time to just think on these, I’d love to hear from you! There is so much encouragement in sharing our testimonies and part of the series we just went through (This Great Gospel) is about sharing our faith. Easter is a time like no other to do just that. A watching world looks in once again and asks “Who is this Jesus and what is this cross all about?” We have the answers. We have the truth. The world is desperately looking for it. When anyone finds Jesus, the search is finally over!
Can’t wait to talk next week about the resurrection. The tomb is empty…He is not here, He has risen!
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Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17
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