We see them displayed in homes, dangling from necklaces, even situated high on hilltops…
THE CROSS—some with intricate detail, others with simple yet solemn features
Recorded in Genesis 3, we learn where Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden…
Thus sin irrefutably began and has been an ongoing consequence ever since.
As a result, in the Old Testament times God required animal sacrifices, the shedding of blood, which provided an evanescent covering over sins. (Leviticus 4)
The sinner could then receive and experience temporary forgiveness, making the person right with God. However this was a repeat process, because the animal could never purify one’s conscience from sinful deeds the way Jesus’ blood would be able to. Hebrews 10:11-12
But why Blood?
Because blood symbolizes life.
Jesus’ life portrays and is the ultimate illustration of perfection, therefore His blood provides the perfect sacrifice to atone for everyone’s sins. Hebrews 9:13-14
I asked my children what the cross meant to them this past week and in unison they replied, “Jesus.”
Without a doubt I believe “Jesus” qualifies as one of the most accurate and necessary responses, BUT I also challenged them to dig a little deeper.
I read to them from 1 Peter 2, to encourage their thoughts (NLT version):
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.
After reading this to my children suddenly their limited spectrum had expanded…and reasonably so, those words are packed with power, truth, and hope!
They began to consider that the cross, although it painstakingly bore Jesus as he offered His life for our sins, ALSO represents for them…for you…for me:
‘In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace’
A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
1 Peter 3:18
‘For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit’
‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’
THE PERFECT SACRIFICE
‘For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy’
1 John 4:4
‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’
1 Peter 1:3
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,’
‘He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where His body was lying.’
1 Corinthians 15:55-57
‘O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.’
‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’
When we admit we’re sinners in need of a Savior and seek forgiveness we can praise God for the cross. When we believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins and rose from the grave three days later we can thank God for the cross. When we turn from our sins and invite Jesus to come into our heart and life we can remember the cross.
He is worthy to be praised. Psalm 145:3
When we boldly proclaim we want to trust and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior it is because of the victory found BEYOND THE CROSS—when Jesus rose from the dead, conquering and defeating sin for you and I….that right there, my friend, is why today we celebrate Easter Sunday!
He is risen! Matthew 28:6
When you see a cross, do you take time to reflect on everything it represents?…
What does the cross mean to you?
JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!!!! YAY!!! Watch this 2-minute kid snippet video from Southland Christian Church
(Easter according to kids) CLICK HERE