“THE NECESSITY OF THE CROSS”
13). And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14). Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15). And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
What does the cross mean to you? Many people in the world today view it as a symbol of Christianity; but stop and think about what it represented-in Christ’s day. Nobody wore a miniature cross around the neck or displayed one in a place of worship. The cross was a torturous means of execution, and the mere thought of it was repulsive.
Yet many believers throughout the ages have chosen this as the sign of their faith. In fact, to remove the cross from our teaching and theology would go against the traditions we have come to know! The subjects of death, blood, and sacrifice have become unpopular in many churches because they’re unpleasant and uncomfortable topics. We’d prefer to hear about the love of God, not the suffering of Jesus.
But how could anyone be saved if Christ had not been crucified? Many people think all you have to do to receive God’s forgiveness is ask Him for it. But a sinner’s request can never be the basis for His forgiveness. He would cease to be holy and just if no penalty was imposed for sin. According to Scripture, there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood! (HEBREWS 9:22, tells us, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood, there is no remission”). Christ had to bear the punishment for our sin in order for God to grant us forgiveness.
Every time you see a cross, remember what it really was–an instrument of execution. Then thank Jesus that He was willing to be crucified so the Father could forgive you of sin. Though the scene of your redemption was horrendous, Christ turned the cross into a place of great triumph!