Summary: The Cross of Christ is one of division, decision, and dedication.
The Cross of Christ
Perhaps the most familiar of all Christian symbols is the cross. Can you look in almost any direction without seeing a cross? They are on the top of steeples, hanging on the walls, and worn on gold chains around necks, often by those who have little if any concept of its meaning. Most of the world has little awareness that historically the cross was a Roman invention of torture and execution upon which the Son of God was affixed between heaven and earth. The importance of the cross of Jesus Christ cannot be overestimated. Martin Luther once said it this way: "The Cross alone is our theology." The Cross of Christ is the most important structure ever erected
I. THE CROSS OF CHRIST IS A CROSS OF DIVISION
A. It divides between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant
1. The cross is the dividing line between the old and new covenants.
2. The Old Covenant was established between God and the people of Israel after God freed them from slavery in Egypt. God spoke through Moses establishing the Law, containing 613 laws, covering every aspect of human behavior; including worship, dietary, social, and hygiene rules. It established a sacrificial system to address the people's sins but was never able to remove sin.
3. Hebrews 10:11 “And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.”
4. The Old Covenant was never able to bring man to aright standing with God. It revealed man’s inability to meet the standards and righteousness of the Holy Sovereign of the universe and the inability of securing salvation by works.
5. Galatians 3:24 tells us that “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”
6. It was on the cross with the shedding of the blood of the sinless Son of God that the great time-divide between the two covenants met.
7. Hebrews 10:11-14 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man (the spotless Lamb of God), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God... For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
8. Colossians 2:14 tells us that Christ wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, nailing it to the cross.
9. Matthew 26:27 – 28 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the NEW COVENANT, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
10. When Jesus announced a new covenant in his own blood, He was announcing something dramatically new! Here is now a new covenant establishing a relationship with God, made possible only by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ — a relationship based on faith and grace rather than on works of the law.
B. The cross divides between the saved and the lost
1. Luke 23:33 “And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.”
2. Luke 23:39-43 “...one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
3. Three crosses stood before the crowd. Christ affixed in the middle. One railed on Christ. The other sought mercy and grace. One was saved, the other lost. The cross divides.
4. 1 Corinthians 1:18, 22- 24 “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. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
5. ’twill divide, then, the world,
O my friend, it is true-
The great cross of Jesus;
On which side are you? – copied
II. THE CROSS OF CHRIST IS A CROSS OF DECISION
A. Because the Cross of Christ divides you cannot be neutral in relation to the cross. You must be on one of two sides either on the cross of rejection or the cross of repentance and reception.