Day 6: April 10
"The purpose of the cross"
1 Corinthians 1:18-23 (NKJV)
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness
Let’s praise Him as we enter His presence with thanksgiving. We pray and intercede in brokenness. We stand in the gap for those who are suffering and dying without Christ.
Let’s ask mercy for our President, civil, military, and spiritual authorities. Let’s pray and minister over our families for peace, emotional healing, and trust.
Today, most countries are celebrating "Easter". Coincidentally, I want to talk about the purpose of the cross. We recognize it’s the message of the cross that can break through hearts of stone. I am certain it’s the message the whole world needs to hear at this time to bring about repentance and hope. The Apostle Paul says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God”. As children we have that power delegated through the sacrifice of Christ.
In moments of grief, death, and despair, everyone looks for someone to turn to for an answer.
Psalm 96:3-5 (NKJV)
3 Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. 4 For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens.
Religion tries to reach God yet it’s powerless to change anyone. Only the power of the gospel in Christ Jesus can do it. He came to save what is lost. The change that Christ brings about is internal, from the inside out.
Jesus Christ was a stumbling block for the Jews; He is still a stumbling block for many because they still do not understand Him. There are people who admit they have needs, but do not believe Jesus is the answer. Christ's message is one of salvation, forgiveness of sins, healing, restoration and his eminent return. His return is soon, however He’s not coming to save but to judge.
Romans 14:11-12 (NKJV)
11 For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
Long before Jesus was crucified on the cross at Calvary, He exhorted us to take up our cross daily and follow after him. This is what a disciple does.
Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
The Romans used the cross as a brutal method of criminal execution but through Christ's sacrifice the message of the cross became a message of hope.
- The core of our faith in Christ: His death on the cross and resurrection.
- The point of the cross: Jesus took our place. He suffered all that our disobedience deserved.
- Our disobedience was placed on Him and His goodness came upon us.
- Due to His obedience on the cross, we’ve received all that He conquered. The challenge is to be like Jesus; as He became like us.
- On the cross, the Father placed all iniquity, punishment, blame, and rebellion on Jesus.
- The cross freed us from the flesh. Luke 9:23 (NKJV) Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. The flesh wants to proceed outside from the will of God. Living in the flesh is to fulfill our own will.
- The cross freed us from the world. Galatians 6:14 (NKJV)But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
These passages are very important. Let’s understand them since we are currently going through a season of affliction. The majority of people are anguished by the world - death, pain, hunger, etc. This represents the cross without Christ. Needless to say, children of the Kingdom must understand that we are in the world but not of the world. We should learn to discard our earthly mentality and adopt the mind of Christ. These types of events will always occur. They announce to the coming of the King.
Our duty is to be the difference, to be light in the midst of darkness, and to bring comfort to those who need it.
- The cross frees us from Satan’s power and authority. On the cross, Jesus defeated the devil forever. If we confront the enemy through the cross we will have victory; we need to believe in the risen Christ.
- Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. Galatians 3:13 (NKJV)Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).
- The enemies of the cross are those who set their mind on earthly things.Philippians 3:18-19(NKJV)18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.
Father, in the mighty name of Christ, we thank you for having sent your Son to die on a cross like a criminal so that today we can have peace. Thank you for freeing us of all curses. We ask and plead that you may set the nations free. May they know Jesus. Amen.
Published on Friday, April 10, 2020 @ 1:58 AM CDT