The Message of the Cross

 

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2,000 years ago, a man who they called The Christ, The Messiah,  shared the greatest message that could ever be shared. No it wasn’t a sermon. And no it wasn’t a Parable. It was an action but in truth it’s more than just an action. Does anyone know what the action was?

It was the message of the Cross. It was an action of Sacrifice. What do I mean by that? The Apostle Paul says it beautifully. “I’m absolutely CONVINCED that NOTHING- nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”  (Romans 8:38-39 MSG)

Nothing can get between us and God’s love (Rom 8:39). That’s the message of the Cross. The blood of Jesus was shed out of love for us. He embraced us even to the point of his death.The cross can not stop it. Your sin can not stop it. Not even hell itself can stop it. No matter what you are struggling with, no matter what you are going through, God’s love will break through.  This is the message of the cross. What you might think is a wall, he sees as a pile of rubble. You might see a wrong turn, but God sees the right way.

The song “Closer Than You Know” by Hillsong United says, “I carried that cross, And I felt your pain. I took up your crown, and I wore your shame. And death was a fire, and its teeth were grim, but I left it behind along with all your sin.” Out of LOVE he carried the cross. Out of LOVE he took on our pain and our crown. OUT of LOVE he faced death. AND OUT OF LOVE he conquered the world. It wasn’t out of an obligation, it wasn’t out of pity, nor was it because of a death wish. Simply put, Jesus Christ of Nazareth sacrificed his own life out of love.

The beauty of the cross is that God’s love knows no bounds. Romans 5:8 says “but God shows his love for us in that while we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us. (verse 9) Since therefore, we have now been JUSTIFIED by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” We were enemies of God, but He still loved us and went so far as sending his Son to die on the cross, which we all know.  

There is power in the blood of Jesus. And I would even go as far as saying that there is power in the blood BECAUSE of the love of God. God’s love reaches out to the corners of the world. It knows no limit or any boundary. It does not see borders and it does not see nations. It reaches out to all people.

The song “Empires” which is also by Hillsong United puts it this way, “This is love bending skies to heal the broken. This is love bleeding life into the grave. Hear the sound as our hearts cry out forever Singing Hallelujah. Breathing in a brand new world.” What this line is saying is that love will do anything to heal the broken. Love will go anywhere to give life to the dead.  And that is what God’s love did. Even before Jesus was crucified he went where no one else would.

He went to places that were unclean to heal the sick. He went to the tombs and brought the dead back to life. He went ANYWHERE and DID the unthinkable to heal the sick. Where there was sickness, there is now healing. Where there was death, there is life. The old is washed away, and the new is rising up.

And when he died, he went to the grave, but did not stay there. He took the keys of death away giving life to the dead. He gave life to every single one of us. ⅓ of the world’s population are Christians. Let’s assume that all the Christians were true followers of God. If that is the case, that means ⅔ of our neighbors are dead. But the good news is, they still have a chance. Jesus can still invade their hearts and give them life. He did it to me, and he did it to you. He can do it again.

The love of God makes all things new. We might look in the mirror and see a broken, worthless teenager, but God sees a healed and priceless Son or Daughter. You might see a messed up teenager, but God sees someone who’s beautifully and wonderfully made. We are REDEEMED because of the love of God. You aren’t a sinner saved by grace. You WERE a sinner, but now you are a friend of God.

I’m not saying we don’t sin, I’m saying God doesn’t see our sins. Because of God’s love, we are a NEW creation, we are not what we once were, we are not  just sinners saved by grace, we are redeemed. We are Children of God.

The Message of the Cross is not ONLY that nothing can separate us from God’s love, but also that God will prove that he loves you. “For God SO LOVED the world…” the Bible says. You want proof that he loves you? Look at the blood stained cross. Look at the empty grave. He loved us enough to go through hell and back literally. And guess what he conquered it.

Look at God and Israel. Time and time again he showed them that he loved them. Time after time he proved to them how much they mean to him. And God did the same for you. “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson says, “If you wanna know how far my love will go just how deep, just how wide. If you wanna see how much you mean to me, look at my hands, look at my side.” It might just be a song, but it’s true. It’s what Jesus says to all of us. “I love you! Just look at my hands. I’m willing to DIE to show you my love.”  He’s done and given everything that you ever needed. He’s proved time after time that he loves you. And the Cross is the perfect example.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” And he lived that statement to the fullest. He proved to us that his love is so vast and unconditional by going to the cross. This was the message of the cross.

It was more than just an action and it was more than just a sermon. It is proof that his love will not back down to anything. That his love will bring down walls and do anything to get to us. It is proof that God loves us. And this message is one to be shared with ALL the Earth. When Jesus died, God sent a message to the whole world saying, “I will do WHATEVER it takes for you to live in love. There’s no place to high, low, wide or deep, nothing too hard, and nothing I WILL NOT do to prove my love for you.”

And we are meant to deliver that message along WITH the message of salvation. Salvation is the PURPOSE of the Cross, the MESSAGE of the Cross is the action in which God shows us that we are loved.

So allow me to ask you a series of questions. What would YOU do in order to prove your love? Let me rephrase the question, what WOULDN’T you do to prove your love? Does your love stop for something? Is your love unconditional? Now think about God’s love. God would do anything, he would do unimaginable things. His love TRAMPLES over everything that gets in its way. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love, is better than our love.

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