In all of the talk about freedom in world, through top headline news stories, and across years of history, as we remember brave men and women who fought hard for the liberties we have today, this powerful Truth still rises above all…
Only in One can true freedom be found.
Only in One can we be made new.
Only in One can we find lasting peace and hope.
Only in One – Jesus Christ. For He is the One who alone holds the power to set us free.
Without the pain and reality of the cross, without the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf, without the miracle of the Resurrection and his final victory over sin and death, we would still be bound. We would still live defeated. We would still be groping in darkness.
In all of history, there is not one more redeeming, liberating, or costly sacrifice, than the cross of Christ.
Yet, to some in this world, the cross doesn’t make sense. It is foolishness to their minds. They don’t understand it. They won’t accept it. They live blinded to its power and grace.
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Cor. 1:18
To others the cross of Christ brings an offense. They are offended by its sacrifice. They are offended by the Truth that Jesus paved the only way for us to be saved. They hide under the false belief that there must still be another way to come to God.
“…but for those who do not believe, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.’” 1 Pet. 2:7-8
To many people the cross of Christ stirs up hatred. There is an intense attack on those who call themselves Christ followers, on those who will not bow their knee to another god. We see it throughout history, stories of many courageous believers who have suffered violent persecution and death at the hands of those trying to destroy the knowledge of Christ and annihilate Christianity. We see it even today, as ISIS names their target in the midst of their evil war, as the People of the Cross.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” John 15:18
But they may not be aware of this one Truth – you can never overcome the Power of the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ. You will not conquer it. You can’t hide it away or pretend it doesn’t exist. His Power is incapable of being shut away, ignored, forgotten, or destroyed. Ever.
For He is the One who reigns supreme. He holds the final victory. He conquered sin and death, so that it holds no sting, no power, over those who are forever changed by his forgiveness and grace.
What God offers us still today, through the gift of the cross, 7 things it provides:
1. It provides a bridge, a way, to God Himself. It gives us an opportunity to have a personal relationship with the very God who made us and loves us more than we could imagine. Without the cross, there is no way to cross over to the other side of relationship with him. Any attempt will fail. He is the Only Way.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
2. It provides opportunity for forgiveness of sin. Through the price Jesus paid on Calvary, we have the chance to be forgiven of our own sin. He took our sin and shame upon his very shoulders. He took the blows on our behalf so we wouldn’t have to suffer. Such incredible love. Such amazing sacrifice.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Eph. 1:7
3. It provides freedom to all those who believe. Freedom from the shackles of sin. Freedom from shame. Freedom from fear. Freedom from disgrace. Freedom from worry. Freedom from hopelessness. Freedom from despair. Freedom from addiction. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from darkness and eternal separation from God.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
4. It provides new life. We are not only forgiven, cleansed, and set free, but we have a whole new life and destiny through Christ. We are changed, from the inside. He renews our minds. He changes our hearts and desires. He gives us fresh purpose for every day set before us.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:7
5. It provides power for us to live today. When Jesus died on the cross, and was buried, it didn’t stop there. The final picture of all that the cross provides lies in the powerful Resurrection of our Lord. He won. He didn’t stay dead. He could not be closed in a tomb and forgotten through the ages. His power broke through, and that same power is alive within us today. As believers, God gives us the power of the Holy Spirit, living and moving through us each day. Sometimes we forget it’s there. Often we don’t ask him for a fresh filling of his Spirit breathed into our day. But he’s still there, waiting to help us and to live mightily through our lives.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
6. It provides the way to have victory over the enemy. We do not have to fear him or his assaults. As we live aware of his traps, the power of Christ over our lives gives us a covering and protection from his evil schemes. We’re not left to fend for ourselves. We do not fight in our own strength. We can stand in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, “for in him, we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 15:57
7. It provides for us an eternal heavenly home. We no longer have to fear and worry about what will happen when we die. In Christ we have been given the gift of eternal life. This earth is only our temporary home. God is preparing a place for us, with him, to live forever. And you can be assured it will be far greater than we could ever imagine.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Cor. 2:9
Thank you for the price you were willing to pay on the cross so that we could live free. Thank you for the power of the Resurrection that brings ultimate victory over sin and death. Thank you that this same power still works mightily within us today.
We praise you that you are the Victorious One, the Mighty Conqueror, the Prince of Peace. We ask you for the fresh filling of your Spirit today, so that we can live out your purposes in this generation, free, brave, and strong.
In Jesus’ Name,
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Rom. 1:16
Forever free in his unending grace.
That is true freedom.
(This article also appeared here http://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/fourth-of-july/the-power-of-the-cross-where-true-freedom-is-found.html.)