The Cross of Jesus :: by Ron and Nathele Graham

Ron Graham was called home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked me, Nathele Graham, to continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

Christ’s death upon the cross was the most important event in the history of mankind. At Christmas we celebrate His birth, which was an incredible act of love. God became man. Let that sink in. God, the Creator of all that is, humbled Himself and entered His creation as a baby. Christ became human in order to be our kinsman redeemer. He came knowing that He would be nailed to that cross at Calvary, but He also knew that only the pure blood of God—His blood, shed to take away the sin of the world—was the only way to purchase our salvation.

There is no way to live eternally with Him except to believe in His death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus paid the full price for our salvation. What Jesus accomplished by willingly going to that cross was to create a way, a narrow way, for all mankind to be saved. The gospel declares that there is only one way by which a person can have forgiveness of sins and approach God. And that is through belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it declares a narrow one-way path. Why are so many people offended by that fact? The Bible says that Christ crucified is a stumblingblock to the Jews, and to the Greeks it is foolishness.

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)

Why is this truth such a problem for people to accept? It is so simple yet people will believe crazy things rather than believe truth. Buddha, Mohamed, Joseph Smith, and all the other false teachers who are motivated by Satan, are able to convince people that they have the answer. Yet, these liars are leading the gullible to hell. Jesus told His disciple, Thomas, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

It is a simple truth that you must heed. Only faith in Jesus will lead you to the Father. Only faith in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection will lead you to eternal life with Him in heaven.

Although Jesus was God, He also was human. When the time had come for the prophecy of His crucifixion to be fulfilled He knew that He was about to be arrested; He was aware of the beating, the mocking and pain that He would endure. He also knew that there was more that would happen upon that cross than just the death of His mortal body.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

It is sin that separates us from God, but Christ was perfect and without sin. Yet, as He hung on the cross, He stood in our place and became sin in our place. For the first time in eternity God the Son would be separated from God the Father. The anguish of knowing what was soon to happen was overwhelming. Jesus prayed that if there was any other way for death to be conquered that God would take the cup away from Him.

“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:4).

I can never read these words without tears in my eyes. Jesus went willingly to that cross for me. The agony of pain and separation from God the Father were not anything He wanted to go through. But He submitted to the will of the Father. Luke records that Jesus’ agony over what was to come was so great that He was sweating blood. We can be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was and is no other way of salvation than Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. If there was another way, Jesus would not have had to go through the crucifixion.

What Jesus accomplished on that cross almost 2000 years ago is quite sufficient for anyone and everyone who wishes to spend eternity with God. The sufficiency of what Jesus did cannot be added to or taken away from. As a matter of fact it is blasphemous to try to do so. Jesus didn’t die that horrible death to be a part of our salvation; He went through all that He did because it is the one and only way we can be saved:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

It really is that simple. Jesus’ death on the cross was not a tragedy; it was an accomplishment and a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. You need to really understand that Jesus did it all. There is nothing else that can be done in order for you to be saved. No other price to pay. Baptism will not save you, works will not save you, attending worship services will not save you…nothing can be added to Christ’s finished work on the cross.

Baptism is an act of obedience and every Christian needs to submit to baptism. Doing good things for people is a result of our salvation, not the cause. Attending worship services keeps us surrounded by fellow Christians and in fellowship, but sitting in a pew on Sunday will not save you. Only belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ brings salvation. The cross of Jesus Christ declares that there is only one way to God, and that is through the shed blood of our perfect God Himself. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You.

God won’t force anyone to choose heaven. It is impossible to enter heaven through any alternative route other than through Jesus Christ, but there are many religions and cults that would have you believe they have the answer to eternal life and that you can enter heaven from many avenues other than by that which the Bible proclaims.

These groups are terribly deceived. When they stand before the judgment seat of God, those who teach that there is another way to enter Heaven other than through Jesus Christ will actually be in worse condition than people who just refuse to believe.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).

James makes it clear that masters (teachers) are held to a stricter judgment.

“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” ( James 3:1).

Sadly, many people reject the truth of the Bible. They proclaim it to be a book full of myths, steeped in antiquity with no basis for factual evidence. Besides all that, they say it was written by mere men. These people have no idea of what the Bible is really all about, and furthermore they don’t really care.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

“Spiritually discerned” means only those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them have the God-given ability to understand the Scriptures. For all others the Bible is foolishness. Christ’s sacrifice may seem like foolishness to those who are perishing, but Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and we know the cross was where the precious Lamb of God was slain for our salvation.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).

If people won’t accept the truth of what happened on that cross of Calvary, that’s their choice. Because some won’t believe the truth doesn’t mean it is a wrong. The fact is that the powerful completeness of the cross is undeniable.

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost” (John 19:30).

It’s a done deal. It is finished. Each person individually must accept Christ’s sacrifice, but many won’t believe and will remain lost. They will choose to follow the path that leads to destruction. Pray for them to see the truth before it is too late. Only those who will choose to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and in the sufficiency of what He accomplished on the cross and through His resurrection will discover their future and eternal home is in heaven.

I believe it. I have made the decision to follow the Lord. I believe in the finished work He accomplished on the cross. I believe Christ, through His death, burial, and resurrection overcame the sting of death.

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-5).

I will strive to proclaim the gospel even in the face of persecution, giving thanks to God in all things, and living for His glory. Will you do the same?

God bless you all,

Ron Graham