The cross is a subject about which no man can be indifferent. Man’s hope rests upon his belief and acceptance of the cross. What happened that day, those many years ago, happened for you and for me.
We can never truthfully and fully know Jesus until and unless we know Him as the crucified Savior of the world. Moreover, we will never reach our full potential toward God and man without understanding the cross.
Congregations and preachers alike will find that the more we teach and preach the cross, the better we will be, and the better we will grow spiritually and numerically. As we lift up Christ, He will draw all men unto Him.
THE LOVE OF GOD
When we preach and teach the cross, we are helping souls to understand the love of God and the hope we have as His children.
What could God have given that would sufficiently express the depths of His love and compassion for the world? His dominion is limitless. He could have chosen anything or anyone. But what was the object dearest to God? What was the rarest jewel to Him? Who was it that was lying nearest to His bosom? Indeed, God selected His Son, His only begotten Son, and sent Him to take away the sins of the world.
The sacrifice of God’s own Son is the greatest expression of His love for man that He could possibly render. If we will only look to the cross, we will find proof of God’s love for every soul.
However despised or rejected a person may be, that person is the object of God’s love. When one is without a friend, a home, or even a penny to his name, that person is still the object of God’s love. No matter how lowly the individual, God loves him. No matter how perilous his life and living may be in this world, God loves him. No matter how wretched a sinner and outcast of society that person may be, God loves him.
No other religion is certain of the love of God, as is the Christian religion. In fact, the idea of God’s love is at the heart of our faith. This is because of the cross. No other religion has a cross in it. To accept the cross is to accept the love of God and that God is love.
THE HIGH COST OF SIN
Not only does the cross prove to us the love of God, it also proves to us the high cost of sin. Sin has been described as “leprosy to the inner man.” Sin is a debt which every accountable person incurs, but which no person can pay. Sin is that most ugly stain upon the conscience of man that no man can erase.
When we speak of the high cost of sin, we speak correctly, and from experience. It is a disgrace to which every man can relate. No man is immune to its disease. It is vile and wretched and plagues us all. “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25)
To say that sin is costly is to say too little. It is most costly. Sin will cost you more than you can ever imagine. Sin is that unrighteousness which wrecks and ruins our fellowship with God, who loves us so dearly. Sin separates us from Him (Isaiah 59:1-2). Sin causes Him to turn His face from us (1 Peter 3:12).
Sin occupies and comes to control the willing but often unsuspecting person. At first, a person welcomes sin into his life believing some benefit will come. But for sin to occupy the mind and the soul, it must have dominion. “Know ye not that ye are servants to whom ye obey?” (Romans 6:16) Light and darkness cannot coexist.
To accept the enormity and severity of sin is to appreciate the cross of Christ even more. Not only is the cross the greatest expression God could give to testify of His love for man, but it is also the greatest expression God could give to prove the costliness of sin. “Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3).
THE VALUE OF THE SOUL
Jesus viewed the soul of man to be more valuable than anything on earth (Mark 8:36-37). It has always been this way. The soul has always been worth more than the whole world. The soul has been the most valuable thing in the world since its beginning. The world was created for man, not man for the world. While stocks, bonds, currency, land, possessions rise and fall in their value, the soul of man has always remained the same.
God has chosen to destroy the world, once with water and a second time to be with fire, as though it means nothing to Him. Yet, He chooses to redeem man by the precious blood of His Son.
Jesus did not die for the forests, mountains, and rivers, as beautiful and valuable as they are. He died for you and me. What does that say about us and the value of our immortal souls?
As we said at the beginning, the cross is not a subject to which man can be indifferent. It proves to us the love of God, the high cost of sin, and the value of the soul. If only man would accept these facts, turn to the cross, and live for Jesus, how different their lives and this world would be.