Why is the world offended by the cross? Why are so many disturbed when the name of Jesus is mentioned? Why is His name, above all others, often taken in vain?
The answer is simple: There is power in His name, and there is power in the cross, power that shakes the spiritual realm.
Philippians 2:9-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
No wonder the world hates the cross and the name of Jesus; they convict. The cross, sin, and repentance have never been popular terms even though they are at the heart of the Christian faith.
Jesus Himself said that the cross would be offensive. Sadly, many today waters down the gospel and avoid talking about the cross. They want the Bible to be more appealing and marketable. But truth is not marketable! We are to guard it, proclaim it, and defend it, but never compromise it.
A.W. Tozer wrote in 1966: Man, the Dwelling Place of God.
Quote: "There has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different; the likenesses are superficial, the differences fundamental. The old cross slays men: the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new cross brings laughter."
This pleasant, "new cross" view, often leaves people confused and deceived because they believe in a self-promoting, self-seeking Christianity that bears no resemblance to Jesus' sobering call to fully surrender…to dying to self.
In our zeal to lead people to Christ, many paints a false picture of discipleship, or water it down altogether. Jesus didn't say, "Follow me and you won't have to change anything".
Matthew 16:24 New King James Version (NKJV)
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
Jesus wants us to understand what's involved when we follow Him there is a cost. If you've never sincerely repented and trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, there is no better time than now. Many who are trapped in religion go through life lacking passion, direction, and purpose, often living with a sense of remorse and guilt. They wonder, "Have I been good enough?" A relationship with Jesus Christ changes that, your past is forgiven, your present secure, and your future certain.
2 Corinthians 5:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
The resurrection and the cross set us free from sin and death.
Romans 6:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No matter what you've done, you have the opportunity to be forgiven of your sins. Acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. Acknowledge that Jesus died for your sins. Repent and turn from your sins.
This Easter, although we rejoice in the empty tomb, don't forget about the power of the cross. The cross cleanses, redeems, releases, crushes, and triumphs.
God Bless, Israel