Christians tend to be a little excited this time of year! Sunday, April 1 is the day we especially celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But that miracle is meaningless without the cross.
The Bible notes that the message of Jesus’ death on a cross seems foolish (lit. “moronic”) and scandalous. God dying may seem inconceivable, but it is literally the crux of the gospel. “The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).
What is the cross really about? It’s about reconciliation and peace between you and God (Col. 1:20). The cross exonerates you because God nailed to the cross the certificate of debt against you, and makes you alive with Christ (Col. 2:13-14). On the cross, Jesus bore your sins in His body, so you might live to righteousness (1 Pet 2:24). It brings people together (Eph. 2:16). It’s about us.
We know Jesus agonized over his impending death, as he anticipated the weight of the world on his shoulders. What motivated him? Love and joy. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us” (1 John 3:16). Jesus, “who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2).
At age 95, Billy Graham recorded his final message in a video called “The Cross.” In it he says, “With all my heart I want to leave you with the truth. God loves you, and is willing to forgive you of all your sins. The cross is offensive because it confronts people. We deserved the cross, hell, and judgement, and all that that means. Sin is a disease in the human heart. How can we be set free? “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creature” (2 Cor. 5:17). There is no other way of salvation except through the cross of Christ. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6). Turn from your sins to Jesus Christ, and say ‘I’m a sinner, I need forgiveness. You’re the only one that can change me.’ Today, I’m asking you to put your trust in Christ.”
The great Methodist hymn writer Charles Wesley wrote, “Amazing love! How can it be that thou, my God, shouldst die for me? Fast bound in sin and nature’s night; I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth, and followed thee. No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him is mine; alive in him, my living Head, and clothed in righteousness divine.” By faith, all this can be yours because of Jesus, and the cross. Rejoice!