There are two things you will not be able to avoid over this Easter season: Chocolate, and the Cross. The first has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian faith, but the second has absolutely everything to do with it. Without the cross, there would be no Easter, and no “Christians.”
In Galatians 2:20-21, the Apostle Paul, who used to be a law-keeper and Christian-persecutor, came to a place in his own life where he repented and accepted Jesus as Lord, had this confession of his life after his conversion (response no. 3):
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I refuse to set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
This is “The confession of the crucified.”
Note that he says: ”I HAVE BEEN” (This is his past response – he looks back to a time when he responded by faith to repent, believe, and receive), and then “I NOW LIVE” (This is his present reality. He lives “by faith” and with “Christ in me”)
For the believer, the cross is not just a historical fact, but a most powerful present reality.
Sadly, many people have a “past response” but no longer “present reality” of the Cross, while others try to live out some form of present reality of Christian lifestyle, without ever having a genuine “past response” of true repentance from dead works and making Christ Lord of their lives. That’s called religion. Dead religion.
“The message of the cross is the power of God to save those who would believe.”
The message of the cross is the message of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. It proclaims God in Christ became as a man, lived a sinless life (like we should have) and on the cross took the sin of all the world on Himself and died the death we should have died. He did this for you. In your place. For your sin. Because he loves you. He was buried and rose again and is alive forever and will return to judge the living and the dead and make all things new. The message of the cross calls us to respond, there are three possible responses:
- Reject it as nonsense / fiction / a lie / some religious deception.
- Accept as fact, but with no faith response. It doesn’t mean anything to your current reality.
- Accept as fact, and respond by faith to live in its reality. Those who believe it and repent of their sin making Jesus Lord of their lives, receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. They are born again to a real personal intimate relationship with God the Father that starts now! This is “the power of the Cross!”
What has your personal response been to the message of the cross?
May I encourage you over this Easter season, to look back and consider your own “past response” to the message of the cross. If you have never done so, I urge you to genuinely confess Jesus as Lord, repent of your sin, acknowledging that it separates you from your holy God, and receive his forgiveness by faith. Make TODAY your response day, the day you are “crucified with Christ.”
Life like you were created to live it only starts when you get to the cross of Jesus Christ. Start living today not by trying to be a law-keeper to get right with God, but by believing and responding by faith to the completed, finished, perfect work of Jesus on the cross.
- 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
- Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us…