When a believer speaks of the “Power of the Cross,” we are not referring to the instrument that Our Savior was crucified on. When we see a cross, we are reminded of the sacrifice our Savior made for us that day at Calvary and its significance for us as sinners when He was hung up between Heaven and earth until His lifeblood was spent. We do not worship the instrument nor any other so-called “religious symbol” in accordance with Exodus 20:4-5. To non-believers, the cross is folly according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18; “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing; but to us who are being saved, it is the Power of God.” (ESV all emphasis mine)
While He was on the cross, the meaning of Matthew 7:13-14 was demonstrated. One of the thieves crucified with Jesus mocked Him, as did the guards and many others in the crowd. This would be an example of those who are on the broad path to destruction.
The other thief made his confession to Jesus, in that he admitted he was getting what he deserved (Luke 23:32-43). He asked that Jesus “remember him,” to which Jesus replied that the thief would be with Him that very day in Paradise. This was the straight and narrow path leading to eternal life.
Prior to Calvary, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) lets us know what happened to those who died. The rich man represented those who had died out of the will of God. They would go into a place of torment and would remain there until the White Throne Judgment. The first actual occupants of the Lake of Fire will be the antichrist and false prophet at the end of the 7-year tribulation (Revelation 19:20). They will be followed a thousand years later by Satan (Revelation 20:10), and then all who were out of God’s will pre-Calvary, and all who did not accept Jesus from Calvary forward (Revelation 20:11-15).
Lazarus represents all who passed away in God’s will before Jesus was crucified. They went to a place of peace and comfort, which has been described as “Abraham’s Bosom.”
After Calvary, Paul gives us the destiny of those who perish, having received and accepted Jesus as their Savior. From Philippians 1:21-23; “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet, which I shall choose, I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ; for that is far better.”
Fruitful labor does not imply saved by works. That is covered in Ephesians 2:8-9, which states we are saved by the grace of our Savior and the mercy of the Father. Our fruitful labor is that we try to honor our Savior in everything we do. We are not perfect and sinless, nor will we ever be while in these human bodies. However, we do our best to turn away from habitual sin, and when we do sin, we ask and receive forgiveness from the Father (1 John 1:8-10).
When we stop and realize the significance of Jesus on the Cross, we should know that a pure sinless human, Who was also our Creator, suffered an agonizing death for us. At any time while Jesus was on this earth, He could have said we weren’t worth it and left us to suffer our own fate. However, our Heavenly Trinity loves us more than we could ever imagine.
God allowed His Son to be the only perfect sacrifice for us that He could ever accept. Some have said Jesus must’ve sinned at least once while on this earth; however, if that were so, His sacrifice would have been worthless. Also, for all who receive and accept Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us.
On the other hand, is it any wonder that anyone who refuses to accept Jesus, denies that He is the only way to eternal life (John 14:6; Acts 2:21), and believes what the false prophets are saying about many ways to heaven will be separated from Him forever? No one is good enough or has done enough works, nor can they pay their way to get into Heaven. Satan will love for you to believe all the lies being put out.
A song by Casting Crowns (2021) called “Power of the Cross” is a praise Hymn of hope and joy. As we read the words, “Power of the Cross,” remember, Jesus is that Power; the only true Power that saves us.
1) The past that held regret over my head is gone. These chains are ashes now that once were rusted on. I was a runaway; now I’m finally Home.
2) My Mind was a ghost town, haunted by yesterday. Until Your hand reached down, pulled me out of my grave, into the freedom found only in Jesus’ name.
Ref.) I am forgiven, no longer lost. Now I am living in the Power of the Cross.
3) The Father gave His Son so I could be set free. And now, the scales are gone; my eyes can finally see. I’ll tell the world of all Jesus has done for me.
Ref.) I am forgiven, no longer lost. Now I am living in the Power of the Cross. Goodbye to sorrow; welcome my joy. Now I am living In the Power of the Cross.
4) And on that cross, His love held true. Through sacrifice, the old was made new. This life I live, I live in faith, now in Jesus’ name.
Ref.) I am forgiven, no longer lost. Now I am living in the Power of the Cross. Goodbye to sorrow – goodbye to sorrow. Welcome my joy – welcome my joy. Now I am living cause I’m living in the Power of the Cross – Power of the Cross.
5) Thank You! Oh God, I thank You! Jesus, I thank You; thank You for the cross. Praise You, Oh God, I praise You! Jesus, I praise You; Praise You for the Cross!
What are the mechanics of receiving and accepting our eternal Salvation? We speak often of the ABCs of Salvation, and the thief that was mentioned earlier was the first to use them. A-Admit; he admitted he was guilty and his punishment was deserved. We are all guilty (as given in Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23). B-Believe; he had the faith that Jesus was righteous and had faith that He was his only chance at eternal life. C-Call; he asked Jesus to “remember him.” He was immediately saved at that point, as Jesus told him the day would not pass before he was in Paradise with the Savior.
Please note that Romans 10:9-13 reinforces these steps and lets us know this is what saves us. In these verses, it states three times to follow this and be saved. Our Father has not given us anything that is too difficult to understand and follow. Humans are the ones that add to or take away from His wonderful message to us.
Looking at the condition of this world and seeing the rapid pace that all the signs that Jesus and others said would be here at the end of this age should tell us our time here is getting very short. If you have not asked Jesus to come into your life and be your Savior, right now would be a perfect time to do so. We are not guaranteed another day.
Just “talk” to the Savior; let Him know you know you’re a sinner in need of His forgiveness, and ask Him to come into your heart and save you. That’s it. You will have started a relationship with Him that will be eternal. He will turn no one away who truly calls on Him, yet He will not force anyone to accept Him. It’s totally your choice to make, and the most important one ever. There are no third options. Call today.