The Meaning of the Cross

MATTHEW 16:21-27

The theme of God‘s redemptive plan runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. At its heart is Calvary, the place where Jesus died so we could be forgiven. As we read the Scriptures, we see that the cross symbolizes . . .

Salvation. Jesus bore our sins upon the cross and died in our place so we could be reconciled to God and receive eternal life.

Sacrifice. Christ, who was “in very nature God” (Phil. 2:6 niv), chose to leave the perfection of heaven and live among sinful people. Laying aside His divine authority, He was born a helpless baby, completely dependent upon others. His first 30 years were spent in obscurity, without recognition of His Messiahship. During His public ministry, He faithfully carried out God’s plan all the way to His death on the cross. Jesus’ days on earth are an example to us of the sacrificial life (Rom. 12:1-2).

Service. Jesus said He “did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Christ’s supreme act of service was dying on the cross so we might have eternal life. Our Savior calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him through sacrificial service to others (Luke 9:23). As we embrace a lifestyle of humility and servanthood, we will bring glory to our heavenly Father.Â

In our culture, success is based on achievement. We admire those who perform well in athletics, business, and the arts. However, greatness in God’s kingdom is found in a life of obedience. Are you following His plan and helping others as Jesus did? Have you shared with them the good news of Christ?

Dr. Charles Stanley


3 Responses to “The Meaning of the Cross”

  1. Clark Russell Says:

    You mentioned Luke 9:23 about “deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Me.” I’m interested in this term “your cross.” I was just thinking about the verse Gal 2:20 that says “I am crucified with Christ.”

    These verses suggest to me, at least that the cross is not just a symbol, but is personal and experiential. According to your understanding, how can Iexperience the cross in my daily life?

    • Pat Says:

      The cross represents “suffering” that’s where Jesus suffered so for our freedom,and on a daily basis we suffer also through our many trials and tribulations. But we’re to have the same mind set that Jesus did and that is to do the will of our Father. That is purely and simply “Love”! Loving Jesus and others and of course Love will cause us to treat others right. Loving others the way that Jesus does of course is not easy,but as we strive to be more like Jesus the Holy Spirit will help us. To experience the cross daily you have nothing more to do,you will feel the heat of different trials and tribulations,praise God for Jesus and His amazing grace that keeps and helps us daily.

  2. Clark Russell Says:

    This is just my observation, but it seems to me like the cross represents death more than suffering. Yes, Jesus suffered on the cross, but the important part was that He died. Right?

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