The Cross. A cruel instrument of death for the ancient Romans. A symbol of forgiveness and life for Christians. But since Jesus Christ willingly gave His life on the cross to secure our salvation (John 3:16) more than 2,000 years ago, people have been divided over how to respond to it.
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18, ESV
3 Ways to Respond to the Cross of Christ
- Reject – On that first Good Friday, most of the people that stood beneath the cross scorned Jesus and His act of love (Luke 23:35-39). Not much has changed since then. The majority still reject Him. The “intellectuals” proudly claim that faith in a suffering Savior is for weak-minded people who need a crutch. The politicians demand we keep Christ and His cross out of the public sphere. Some around the world even respond to the cross and its message with cruelty and violence. The sad thing is, they “do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). They reject the only way of salvation (John 14:6).
- Stand Under – Every sinner must come to the foot of the cross. There we receive the forgiveness Christ bought for us with His blood (Romans 5:8-9). Yet too many believers plant ourselves there. Like young children who cling to the bottle, we never grow up in our faith (1 Corinthians 3:1-4; Hebrews 5:11-14). We want salvation without surrender, heaven without holiness.
- Pick Up and Carry – Jesus calls us to the kind of faith that requires us to pick up our own cross. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24). This is how Jesus describes true discipleship. We follow His example of complete obedience to the Father and surrender our will completely to His. Ironically, it’s only in “losing” our life that we truly find real life.
What’s Your Response to the Cross?
In this Easter season, let’s mediate on how we have responded to the cross? If you’ve never trusted in Christ’s sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins, do it today! If you’ve been washed clean by His blood, but are stuck in spiritual immaturity, commit to pick up your cross and follow Him (Galatians 2:20). Don’t settle for your best life now. Commit to Jesus’ best life for you always!
How do you need to respond to the cross today?