The power of the cross is said to be destroyed by robbing it of its simplicity. People do this by explaining it in some complex way which alters its design and intention. This is because they are not in touch with the Spirit, and are coming up with explanations from their “flesh”. There are many such sects and cults, and they appear to be ignorant of the deceptions they employ to deceive people and to keep them from the liberating and lifegiving action of the cross.
Yet I am going to join their ranks for the purpose of explanation of the complete subject of the cross.
What then is the power of the cross, why does it attract and deserve man’s attention in the way that it does.
It is because man identifies with it so perfectly. It is to the one open to truth, his own life of sin on display, up there for all the world to see, pinned like a declaration of guilt, to a cross of wood. This hidden life, this outer falseness that hides the inner turmoil, is suddenly in front of his eyes, and his heart registers the injustice of the good man who died in his place, and burdened down with the guilt and pain and suffering that he himself fully deserved. He is fully mirrored by the image before him in his innermost perception. He recognises his own part in pinning this innocent one to this tree. The words of scripture speak in this way, “You have killed the prince of peace, and desired a murderer released unto you”. That murder of innocence that Adam performed in the Garden of Eden, when he released the thought that, when enacted, killed him and the human race with him also..
And here was that innocence hung on the cross, dead, after the murderer Barabbas was released instead of Jesus. He recognises his murder of his own innocence, and the blood of Christ spilt for him.
The sacrifice of his life for ours. Our inevitable death now relieved of its inevitability! One died for all, therefore all died. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. He became sin for us.
And that is the impact on man, and the power of the cross to draw all men to him, where they receive relief, pardon, forgiveness for their sinful actions they produced over the course of their lives.
So what happens if we explain the cross in some other way, if we deny his death on our account, if we deny his taking up into his own body our sin, if we deny his agony was him actually grappling with the justice of taking the responsibility, the pain, away from us and for us. If we deny that God the Creator himself was dealing with and removing the blame from us.
What happens is that the love which was the motivation for God sending his son to the cross, becomes detached and remote from the cross and from us. There is presented instead, some convoluted explanation that offers conditional salvation that usually is distinctive to the errant group involved. It may represent some more intellectually satisfying explanation, but in doing so will remove the completeness which reveals God’s utter love and commitment towards us.
It is faith, belief, trust in this and in him that changes our lives forever.
Now here I go introducing complication. Much is placed on “the blood” as that which saves us. But blood is nothing in itself, even if it is the blood of Christ. It carries meaning and great weight because of its symbolism of death, and because it is attached to so much of the Jewish religion and tradition. What saves us, is God’s love in acting to absorb sin, to pay the cost of its damage in terms of human suffering, God himself suffers it through his son.
The damage of sin, its non-reality and non-viability in God’s world, is confirmed by God’s action in removing it. And it is the conveyance to us, in undeniable and obvious terms of that love, that saves us. So we are saved in the primary sense that the inevitability of our death has ceased to be inevitable, and we are saved in the reality sense when we accept his action as true, and his motivation as love, and therefore his very nature as being love. And when we accept his action and believe he did indeed perform it, and that Christ rose from the dead, and we are prepared to say so; then we are saved.
But no matter what I say, it will not have the same saving impact as those words which are presented by scripture itself, to our hearts, which then are open to the Spirit of truth to impact us. But God who IS love, has acted within his creative purpose, to bring all men to himself, that they might be conformed to his very nature, by allowing the spirit of his son to live in their hearts. That his will of loving forgiveness towards all, might be enacted on the earth by his servants, his sons and daughters.
It is hard for us as natural people to even imagine how God’s will of righteousness could be enacted through people such as we. But when the notion of unrighteousness is unveiled from our eyes, and replaced with the notion of righteousness because of Christ, it all becomes not only clear, but also “do-able”. And why should we think it strange that it is possible to do what is right. Why should we consider that doing what is wrong, or doing what is mediocre, should in anyway be acceptable or impossible to depart from?
The power of the cross exists to change men’s behaviour by changing their thinking by changing their heart, which is the seat of true, relevant reasoning. The Spirit of truth witnesses TO the truth. What is truth? Pilate said. The answer given by the word is that “The Spirit is the truth”. We have been designed to operate and function as good people, as the true children of this creation, without the twisting and shifting of serpentile thinking. The first Adam failed. The “second Adam” succeeded. He has empowered us to be patterned according to himself, according to the nature of the Father of light.
Later edit. Jesus said on the cross, “they know not what they do” Paul said in R7 “I know not what I do”
Catonement Csects Ccults Ccross Cwrath