Summary: At the cross we see the love of God shown to mankind.
At the Cross is …Love
Today I start a series called “At the Cross.” We will look at the cross to see what Jesus has done for us and provided for us. It will conclude as we look at the empty tomb and His resurrection on Easter Morning.
The most common religious symbol in the western world is the cross.
Crosses on churches
Crosses on jewelry.
Athletes blessing themselves before an event while holding a cross.
I want you to understand that during the time of Jesus that a cross was a symbol of shame, embarrassment, and a symbol of terror.
No Roman would wear a cross around his/her neck.
Romans used it as a very painful way to execute someone, so bad that no Roman citizen could be executed that way. It was reserved for slaves, robbers, rebels, and assassins.
To Romans to die on the cross would represent the worse way to die.
What does the cross mean to you?
It was not always a sign of being a Christian. If fact, no Roman citizen ever pictured the cross as being religious.
It was not until Constantine in the 4th century adapted it as a religious sign. It was his good luck charm. He also had it put on his soldiers shield.
What does it mean to you personally?
Good luck charm?
Kissing it like a blessed symbol of God’s protection?
What it means to you will determine how you live your life. How you picture Jesus on or off the cross influences how you live your life.
On the cross- The man Jesus who suffered and died- story unfinished.
Off the cross- The God/Man Jesus who suffered and died and was resurrected.
Two thieves, both criminals, hung on a cross aside of each other and Jesus.
One hurled insults- “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us”!
The other rebuked him- “Don’t you fear God? (42) Then he said, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
The eternal words of Jesus that changed his life forever- “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
According to Roman culture it may be a shameful way of dying, but to a believer what Jesus did on that cross was a symbol of life, love and forgiveness.
The God of the universe, the maker of heaven and earth, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the one that was before time died on that cross to find us and to rescue us. If that is not love, I don’t know what love is.
Even if the story ended there, you could not deny God’s love for each one of us. Thank God, it did not end there.
He loved us and rescued us before we even realized that we needed saving.
The criminal that hung there and blasphemed God reminds us of how our world is today.
Most people would drive Jesus to the cross again if they could.
There rebellious attitude, their lack of commitment, there looking only for the blessing of God without serving or knowing God.
Demanding God to show them something or proving He is God by miracles and blessings to people that have no regard for God.
Listen, there is no greater love God could have shown mankind than what He did on the cross of Calvary.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
“But God demonstrated his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
“I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me, and the live which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
“This is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
See the cross for what it is- The love of God in action!
Jesus loves you! He went to the extreme of the cross to show you.
There was no other way He could of shown you His love that leaves us with an opportunity of eternity with Him.
We have more in common with the criminal than we want to admit.
God tells us we must do it His way- we tell God I’ll do it my way.
When things don’t go our way, we doubt His love.
We begin demanding God prove Himself again to us and show us that He loves us by our standards.
To truly experience God’s love, we have to grasp this truth- “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”