The Message of the Cross Is Our Real Power Source

To the sincere Christian and seeker of God, nothing causes more pause for reflection on the glories to come than the Easter story. And rightly so. Although Easter Sunday is perhaps the most celebrated of all Christian holidays, God never intended it to be an annual memorial as it is now. In fact, you’ll not find the word Easter anywhere in the Bible. Instead, Jesus told His disciples to eat the bread that was broken for them and to drink the cup of the new covenant “in remembrance of Me.” The apostle Paul passed on the message, saying, “as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).

In other words, what has been called “the Lord’s Supper” is intended to be a frequent celebration that should take place as often as we gather for Christian fellowship. This principle was revealed in Acts 20:7 when Luke mentions, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread….” The precedent of a weekly worship is made here. But however often they gathered, it was clear that “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). These are the essentials of Christian worship.

Why was such an emphasis placed on the body and blood of Jesus Christ as being a regular memorial in Christian gatherings? Because “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” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Jesus surely knew how forgetful and weak in mind we humans are when it comes to staying on the path of righteousness. We need constant reminders of our higher purpose, and of the essentials of faithful living, if we ever hope to abide in Christ throughout our lives.

Much like a skilled physician, pilot, or craftsman, remembering the basics serves us well, especially when things go wrong. This is precisely y why the Lord’s Supper was never intended to be an annual holiday. Keeping the saving work of Jesus Christ first and foremost in our minds is critical to keeping ourselves on course. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash away our sins, and we can do nothing whatsoever by our own merit to earn our way into God’s eternal kingdom.

Remembering the cross keeps our feet planted on solid ground. It also helps remind us that God chooses the most unlikely candidates for His service—those who wholeheartedly strive to obey Him. Only as we accept God on His own terms do we find the riches of His blessings in this life.

Sadly, this is where so many self-professing Christians fall short. We can so easily drift apart from the faith and be lulled into the teachings of false teachers and false prophets by ignoring or not paying close attention to the written words that God the Holy Spirit gave us through the sacred Scripture. What God calls good, we ought to echo as being good. When God’s message calls something evil, that should be our same message to the world. As soon as we begin to ignore the message of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, then we effectually sideline God’s Son, the Savior of the world. And things begin to unravel.

Isn’t this what has happened in America? See how greatly we have deviated from a time when most people actually knew and practiced the lessons of the Bible. Knowing God does some amazing things in our own souls. Knowing God humbles us. It should never make us haughty or boastful. Striving to obey God does good things for us, even though we so often fail. We gain through the practice of holiness. The perfecting of our souls is a lifelong process, but it takes time to shape a diamond in the rough. The more we know God, the less we fear man. And the more we love our fellow man, despite our many blemishes. The more we are apt to see the image of God reflected in His greatest creation: mankind.

So many people turn to God in times of trials and emotional pain. That is good. It makes up for all the turning away from God during times of ease and prosperity. When push comes to shove, we all love our liberty, and indeed freedom is a gift from God. But it’s also a gift greatly taken for granted because we fail to recognize its source. That’s why I like celebrating “resurrection Sunday” as often as we gather. It’s likely why Jesus instructed us in this manner.

Each day brings its own trials, even during the best of times; and tribulation is for many a way of life. Jesus understood the burden of daily living in a sinful world, but we must never forget the message of the cross because at the moment Jesus died, the price for our sin was paid once and for all. Because of this single consummating act of the history of mankind, we can take courage in Jesus’s own words, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). We have victory through Christ’s blood. In these words are a coping mechanism, a hope, that will never disappoint.

When we enter the new covenant by answering God’s call to be saved from the wrath of sin, we enter eternity at that moment. And just how is one saved? The answer is found throughout the book of Acts in the New Testament. Here we can read not only how the church began, but how sinners were saved through the blood of the new covenant. Even now, this message is too often distorted and poorly understood, despite its simplicity. And so I suggest just reading for yourself how people like you and me were converted, according to the Saviors own plan.

Beware all false prophets and false teachers. The message of salvation is the message of the cross. That message is so simple and straightforward, it takes a scholar to confuse the issue. We are not deceived when we simply read the words as written, and obey in faith. And by the way, this is exactly the message that America needs to hear again, and heed. It’s the mighty work of our Savior on the cross that gave us a very good and peaceful land, one nation under God! It is the power of God bestowed on us. That is, if we are willing to receive it.