Pastoral Perspectives

The Cross Of Christ

Today, we celebrate the resurrected Christ.  Jesus is alive!  He has risen from the dead.  There is a great hope for the whole human race because of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross.  The cross of Christ reveals the power of Christ over sin, shame and death.  Jesus has conquered death.  He is alive and death can no longer have any hold on Him.  The power of sin and death is broken through His death on the cross.  The resurrection of Christ is the centrality of the Christian faith.  Without the cross of Christ, there is no crossover from death to life!  Without the cross of Christ, there is no resurrection of Christ!  We all know that Jesus was nailed to that cruel cross to bear the penalty for our sins.  Jesus died for our sins and was buried.  On the third day, He rose from the dead (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-8).  How significant Christ’s death on the cross is for us who believe!  It is the main focus of our Christian faith.  It is also our vital testimony to the world that Jesus Christ is, indeed, the Saviour of the world.  When Jesus was alive on earth, the Samaritans said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (see John 4:42).

Let us look at the cross of Christ.  There are rich lessons which we can learn from the cross.  When I look at the cross, I see the blood of Christ.  It is as what the apostle John puts it: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  Jesus is the Lamb of God.  He alone can take away your sins and mine.  No one can do that for us except Jesus.  Jesus is the sinless Son of God.  As the apostle John recorded it in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  The blood of Christ shed on the cross reveals Jesus’ immense love for you and me.  As I reflect on the cross, I am grateful to God for His great salvation plan for the whole human race including myself.  Looking intensely at the cross, I am drawn to the love of Christ.  I marvel at the immense love of Christ for me.  How wretched a sinner I am and yet Christ Jesus is willing to die for me!  The extent of Christ’s love is beyond my human understanding.  I stand in awe of God and lift up my hands in praises to Him who lives forever more.  It is as what the apostle Paul puts it: “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Christ’s amazing love has transformed my life.

When I look at the cross, I also see the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ.  I cannot only see the death of Christ alone for that will be incomplete in respect to the ‘power’ of the cross.  As I have mentioned earlier, without the cross, there will be no resurrection of Jesus.  Through the cross, we saw the power of God demonstrated, i.e. displayed vividly, when God raised Christ Jesus from the dead.  The significant of the death and the resurrection of Christ cannot be overstated but is made very clear to us that both are required to validate the Christian faith for what it really is.  The death of Christ brought an end to the penalty of sin.  The resurrection of Christ brought an end to the power of sin and death.  It is as what the apostle Paul puts it: “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

When I look at the cross, I am reminded of this acronym, “CROSS”: “Christ’s Resurrection Offers Sinner’s Salvation.”  The resurrection of Christ is so vital to the Christian faith.  There is a great hope for the whole humanity because Christ Jesus has risen from the dead and He alone has conquered death, even death on the cross.  The resurrection of Christ also brings the restoration and reconciliation of relationships.  First, our relationship with God is restored and reconciled.  Second, our relationship with one another is also restored and reconciled.  In Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them (see 2 Corinthians 5:19).  How wonderful is this God whom we believe and trust!

So, let us rejoice in the faithfulness and the goodness of our great God!  In this Easter day, let us focus on the cross of Christ and give thanks to God for raising Jesus from the dead.  Let us also focus on the resurrection of Christ and give ourselves back to God in rededication and submission to the Lordship of Christ over our lives.

Wishing everyone:  “A Blessed Easter Day!”

Preacher George Ang

April 20, 2014