Day 37: The Power of the Cross

I Corinthians 1:18
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.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

I Corinthians 1:22-24
Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

On a cross hangs a dying man, stripped of his clothes and his dignity, mocked by onlookers, bleeding and barely able to speak, forsaken for a time by God himself. Yet this is the most powerful man in human history. How is this possible? The Jews believed a man hung on a tree was cursed by God. The Greeks believed a man crucified was so contemptible they could barely mention it in polite conversation. And yet, through the folly of preaching Christ crucified, God is pleased to save sinners (I Corinthians 1:21).

The power of the cross is the power of love. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) God loves his fallen, rebellious, ungrateful creation so much that he gives his own Son for its redemption. See how much the Son loves his people, that he would suffer so on their behalf! “Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?” (Isaac Watts)

The power of the cross is the power of forgiveness. God forgives the sin of guilty, helpless sinners, only because his Son has taken their place and received their punishment, and his righteousness has been placed upon them. The cross is not limited in its power; none, none are beyond its reach. “I feel sure that there is a way to heaven for the very vilest of men, when I look at the cross.” (J.C. Ryle)

The power of the cross is the power of salvation. “’The word of the cross’ has power to raise the sinner from spiritual death and to provide newness of life.” (Simon J. Kistemaker) The cross has resurrection power, not just in the future, but now, to everyone who believes.

Do you know that resurrection power? “The mere knowing Christ’s name will never save you. You must know His cross, and His blood, or else you will die in your sins.” (J.C. Ryle) Come to the Savior, and experience his power to save!

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its pow’r,
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved, to sin no more:
Be saved, to sin no more,
Be saved, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved to sin no more. (William Cowper)