One of the very first things we begin to understand about Christianity is how the cross is at the heart of our faith, and is what makes our faith different from every other religion. You must know and understand this in order not to be swayed and easily persuaded to abandon the faith. The gospel of the cross is what delivers power and wisdom.
We must understand this: the cross of Jesus Christ was not an accident. The cross is not a sign of weakness; it’s the genius of God. If the prince of this world knew the power of the cross, he wouldn’t have touched it. We need to understand the power of Christianity and the wisdom of God delivered by the cross. There are three stories in the scriptures we need to understand before we can understand the power of the cross:
• The first is the story of the serpent and mankind in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-12),
• The second is the story of the rod of Moses in Pharaoh’s court (Exodus 7:10-12),
• And the third story is the brazen serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:1-9).
In the first story, man fell for the temptation of the serpent. By obeying the serpent, man became the servant of the devil (Romans 6:16), lost his dominion, inherited the rebellious nature of Satan and came under the dominion of the kingdom of darkness. Man died, in that he was disconnected from God and his soul became corrupted.
In the second story, we see the rod of Aaron swallowing the rods of the magicians. The rod of Aaron became a serpent and it swallowed the enemy’s serpents. The story foreshadows the prophecy of the life of Jesus, for the Christ is the rod from the stem of Jesse that shall swallow up all the works of the enemy and have dominion over them.
The third story was a prophetic parable of the Christ on the cross. (John 3:14-15). For indeed, Christ the rod became a serpent (sin on the cross – 2 Corinthians 5:21), so that He could become sin for us. The only problem God had with man was sin. So, when Jesus went to the cross, He knew that our problem began with sin, so He had to become sin. He neutralised and reversed everything that happened in the Garden. We are to look up to Jesus like they did in the wilderness for the salvation of our spirit, soul and body.
Anywhere sin can be and anywhere the effect of sin can reach, the cross of Jesus has enough power to neutralise and reverse it. The cross of Jesus remains the only place where the power of sin can be destroyed and also where the power to work above sin can be obtained. It is only by the cross that you can be saved from your sin. It is the cross that can fix your past, your present and your future. The cross of Jesus remains forever the place where the power over sicknesses and diseases can be secured.
Everything Jesus died for belongs to you now. The cross of Jesus is more than a sign; it is the proof of your redemption and adoption. Christ crucified is both the wisdom of God and the power of God. The cross will forever remain the centre of life in the spirit and on this earth.
Pastor Sunday Ogidigbo, Holyhill Church, Abuja.