The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
We live in a world where the airwaves and cyberspace are overloaded with messages. They are written and spoken, acted and mimed; delivered softly or blasted out loudly. Whatever the medium or method, there is a message or story that has been told and re-told, which will continue to ring out loud and true for all eternity.
It is the preaching or message of the cross; the very heart of Christianity. Without the cross, there is no message, no Christianity. It underpins everything. It overrides every other message. Christ crucified is the foundation of the Christian’s hope. It is the very essence of the Good News of Jesus Christ. It changes lives, heals families, transforms communities and realigns nations. It reconciles enemies and redefines destinies.
The message of the cross is a narrative that has been proclaimed throughout the ages. It is as true, resonant and relevant as it was in the beginning. Indeed, it is a story that should be celebrated every day of the year. However, it is at this time of the year, the Easter period, each year, that the world at large and Christians throughout the nations are reminded afresh of the story. We are reminded that of One whose sole purpose for being born was to die for the sins of the world.
Jesus Christ, the centre and essence, is the long-promised Messiah. Christians throughout the centuries that have passed have continuously celebrated His birth at Christmas. Prior to His birth, he was given the name Jesus. His name sums up His life mission. His name means Saviour. His mission and mandate was to deliver the world from the power and penalty His sin. He came because mankind, the apex of God’s creation was condemned, separated from a loving and holy God. Our sins separated us from God and made us His enemy. The Bible says because of the sins of the first man, Adam and his wife Eve, all mankind stood condemned before a holy and righteous God. It was necessary for the anger of God to be appeased. God, who is gracious, loving and compassionate, yet has to punish sin, deals with this dilemma by sending His only Son, Jesus, into this world.
Jesus lived a perfect sinless life and so was able to offer a fitting sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the world. Because He was sinless, death could not hold Him captive. On the third day, He rose triumphant from the grave. The resurrection is the surest evidence, proof positive of His power. It shows that He has mastery over death. The message is: Jesus died vicariously for you, for me, and for the whole world. Through faith in Him, we can be reconciled, forgiven and restored back to God.
The message of the cross is as simple as it is profound. Its simplicity polarises. There are those who reject it and regard it as foolish, contemptible and not worth believing. To them, it makes no sense. They are headed for destruction, the ultimate destination of all those who reject the message of the cross.
However, for those who believe and embrace the message, it is the power of God. They experience the life-changing power of the message. It is that power that sets them free from condemnation, free from the power of sin and death, with the promise and hope of life eternal.
The message of the cross is the power of God because it is the means, indeed the only means through which God’s saving grace can be experienced. It is the power of God because it is the only avenue through which the Holy Spirit brings conviction and regeneration to sinful humanity; mankind that the bible bluntly and rightly describes as being ‘dead in sin and trespasses’ (Ephesians 2:5).
The Easter period reminds us of the greatest act of selflessness in human history. Jesus, who was sinless, took on Himself the sins of all mankind; so that we can come into right relationship with God. That is the message of the cross; the message of Easter; the message for all seasons. It changed my life. It has changed the life of countless millions throughout the centuries. It is still changing lives. The message of the cross is God’s power to save. That power is available to you today. Believe it, so you can experience God’s amazing grace and power.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2017©
If you have read this article and you are not a Christian, I would like to invite you to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord in your life by praying this simple prayer:
‘God in heaven, I acknowledge that I am a sinner and deserve to be punished for all the wrongs I have done. I am truly sorry. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this world. I believe He lived, died and rose again for my sins. I repent of all past sins and ask you to forgive me because of Jesus. I confess and ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Saviour and Lord. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me to obey you and lead me to follow you all the days of my life. Thank you God for giving me eternal life through your Son Jesus. Amen!’
About the Author:
Emmanuel Mbakwe is a Pastor, an apostolic leader, business advisor, leadership coach, mentor, and published author. He is the immediate past General Overseer of the Apostolic Church UK. His vision and heart’s desire is to help people realise their God-given potential and fulfil the purpose of God for the life.