What does the cross symbolize?
What exactly does this mean?
The cross represents a payment made on our behalf. Remember, God pronounced a penalty to every human being who sinned.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.”
When someone puts their faith in Jesus, his death on the cross pays the penalty due for our sins. Our sins are placed on Jesus as the righteousness of Jesus is credited to us. His death on the cross paid the penalty for our sins – ALL of them! Jesus took upon Himself our sin and death and in return gave us His righteousness and Eternal Life!
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”2 Corinthians 5:21
The New Testament speaks of the cross time and time again. Each time the cross is spoken of, it is referring to the Good News of God’s accomplishments through the death of Christ upon the cross.
“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me. This He said, signifying what death He should die.”John 12:31-32
In that passage, Jesus teaches that the cross will not only break the power of Satan, but also will draw ALL men to Himself. However, not all people who are drawn to Him will come to Him. There are many who reject Him and the message of the Cross.
God took the “Law”, which was a testimony against us, and nailed it to the cross.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
The Law is against us because like a mirror, it shows us our sinfulness. Since we can’t keep all the commandments perfectly – that makes us sinners. But in Christ’s death, God took the law and ordinances away, and nailed it to the cross.
The Christian believer does not have the testimony of the Law against him. Instead, the Christian has been justified by God’s grace and power guided by the Holy Spirit.
Because the Law had no power to do it anyway.
Let’s read how the Bible warns us that those who do not accept the message of the cross, are enemies of the cross.
“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.”Philippians 3:18
Being an enemy of the cross of Christ is not a favorable position to be in. Rejecting God’s ONLY provision for salvation, which is through the cross of Jesus Christ, is rejecting salvation itself. And Christ said He in turn, will reject those who are ashamed of Him.
So, you’re saying being ashamed of Him includes being ashamed of his redemptive death on the cross.
Believers in Jesus Christ are identified closely with Him and His cross.
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”Romans 6:6
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”Galatians 2:20-21
These and other verses in the Bible teach that we are not to be ashamed of the cross of Christ but are to be closely identified with it instead. We are to die to sin and live for righteousness.
Yes, the cross was a cruel and violent method of death, but Jesus died for me and YOU on that cross 2,000 years ago. The cross demonstrates and reveals to us how much God hates sin. It was our sins that put Him on the cross. The cross also demonstrates God’s immense love for us.
Unfortunately, those who reject this single provision that God has provided for salvation, will perish. You know why they reject it?
They just don’t care because they don’t understand?
They reject it because it is foolishness to them.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”1 Corinthians 1:18
The reason believers wear crosses, is because they are not ashamed of what Jesus did on the cross for them. They are eternally grateful for the power of cross to save them.