symbol-of-freedom

{1 Corinthians 1:18; NLT}

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.

It is amazing how God turns around our thoughts and beliefs. The cross is an excellent example of this reality. Remember the cross was an instrument of torture and death, but now it is a symbol of power!

The people who the Romans crucified were the traitors and outcasts of the Empire. According to Jewish Law those who were hung on a tree were cursed. In other words, for the people living in the first century the cross was not a symbol of power, but a symbol of defeat.

In that light, consider how difficult it was for the early Church to carry this message of victory through a cross into the ancient world. The message was foolishness to those who heard it. In their minds a crucified messiah would not be the true Messiah. Such a message would not have gained traction in the ancient world.

Two-thousand-years later we look at the cross and celebrate. For us the cross is a symbol a victory rather than defeat. It is through Jesus’ death on the cross, when he became cursed for us, that we are freed from our enemies of Satan and sin. The cross for us is a wonderful thing.

Why has world’s perspective on the cross changed? Partly it has to do with the reality that Jesus’ death frees us from sin. The apostle Paul wrote:

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin (Romans 6:6-7; NLT).

When we surrender our lives in faith to Jesus we are united with him in his death, and thus the chains of sin that bind us are broken. It is the power of the cross that frees us from the slavery of sin.

We celebrate the cross because God turned this symbol of death into a symbol of freedom.

Questions to Consider:

  • Why is it important to remember the original meaning of the cross?
  • How have you found freedom through the cross?
  • How do you celebrate the cross of Jesus?

 

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