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The Power Of The Cross

by Ron Bartanen

bartenen3 What could possibly be the significance of two pieces of lumber joined together, the shorter piece crossing the longer piece? We know it as a cross. It was a popular Roman method of executing alien criminals. The soldiers nailed Jesus to such an instrument of torture and death. For those involved, this was just another day of work. The significance of it was not yet realized.

To many, the cross has no significance. The apostle Paul wrote, “The word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us who are saved, it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 ). The cross is to the child of God the heart of the gospel (good news) of Christ, what Paul referred to as “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Romans 1:16 ). The word of the cross speaks dynamically of the sacrifice that excels all sacrifices, the dedication that excels all dedications, the hope that excels all hopes, the power that excels all powers. We see sons and daughters go off to war, but always with the hope of their escape from death.

When Jesus faced the cross, it was with the full realization that He must die. Only by His being “lifted up” upon the cross would He be able to grant us eternal life. John wrote, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.                     For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:14-16 ). Jesus expressed the drawing-power of the message of the cross when He told the disciples, “”And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die” (John 12:32-33 ).

The power of the cross is the power for life—eternal life. Is your trust in Him who died on that cross for you, and was raised from the dead? Have you, with a heart of faith and repentance, been buried and raised with Him in baptism to walk in “newness of life—a “new creature” in Christ (Romans 6:3-4 ; 2 Corinthians 5:17 )?

-Ron Bartanen lives in Sullivan, IL and preaches for the Arthur (IL) Church of Christ

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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13