Many years ago a man brought an old friend of his to church. It was an Easter Sunday and I was preaching on the cross. I will never forget that day.
The man’s friend was unsaved. He was a heavy drinker and was very violent, frequently picking fights in bars just to prove how tough he was.
When I gave the invitation that morning, he was the first to respond. Through tears he said to me that he knew that his sins put Jesus on the cross. He was under tremendous conviction from the Holy Spirit.
He gave his life to Christ that morning and became a devout follower of Jesus. He became one of the kindest and most generous men I have ever known.
The cross is where God rescued humanity. It is where His love was put on display. It is the place where His son sacrificed His life, so that we might live.
1 Corinthians 1:18 puts it this way: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Thank God for the cross! It is where the great exchange took place—His riches for our poverty. His blessing for our curse. It should have been us hanging there, but because of God’s great love, Jesus took our place.
- It was our hands that were stretched forth to wicked works, but His hands bore the nails.
- Our feet took a pathway away from God, but His feet were nailed to the wood.
- Our minds conceived wicked thoughts, but His brow wore the crown of thorns.
I cannot escape the ultimate reality that my sins put Him on that cross! But He went there willingly. What love!
It shows the great value God places on every human being, in that He willingly gave up His only Son and allowed that precious blood to be spilled to redeem us.
That means there is really nothing more important than reaching precious souls with the good news of the gospel—at least to give as many as possible the opportunity to hear the message.
Jesus’ last command should be our first priority: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
That’s why we broadcast in nations across the globe in many different languages. We set our sights for Jesus where there is little gospel teaching on TV at all.
So let us pray fervently and do all we can to proclaim and demonstrate God’s love, even to those who will take offense, for such were some of us.
I would like you to have a copy of a short booklet I’ve just written, called The Cross. This booklet, along with a 2-disc album, will help you understand why the gospel message is such an object of offense and a stumbling block to so many—and how it’s also God’s loving open door to all who come.
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