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That, says the scriptures, THE CROSS is an:
OFFENSE.
The meaning, the thought, the application of the cross is indeed an offense to the NATURAL MAN. That is, the man or woman who has no belief in Christianity. This natural person, man or woman, is offended by the notion of the cross. In fact, this anti-Christian person is offended by anything about the cross, including the blood of Jesus Christ.
For Christians, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, was the act of the son of God who laid down his life for mankind, for the sins of man and woman, and without, says the scriptures, this shedding of blood there is:
NO REMISSION FOR SIN.
None at all.
But the concept of sin generally and the need of humankind to accept that propitiation for sin is offensive, even mythological. Some critics, atheistic, even go so far as to call the crucifixion and the shedding of blood:
BARBARIC.
They go back to the Old Testament, to the very book of Genesis, where there was a sacrifice of an animal, the shedding of that animal’s blood as atonement, remission for sins, declaring that to be barbaric as well. But, again, for Christians, without the shedding of blood, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, there is no remission for sins, none at all. Sin and blood, and of course crucifixion, say the natural man and woman, is ridiculous mythology and stokes the passions of these anti-Christians in this day and age, perhaps as never before.
But sin, the coming short of the glory of God is indeed a reality. In fact, it is everywhere in deed and in heart. Evil is a reality, and there really is no cure for it, except ONE! And that is the saving grace of our Lord clearly manifested to us at Calvary, Golgotha, THE CROSS. Thank God for the cross and Christ!
Jesus of Nazareth was tried before Pilate, and the verdict was:
I FIND NO FAULT IN HIM!
But the mob cried out:
CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!
Pilate, politician that he was, honored the tradition of the time, to release a prisoner to them and Pilate chose Barrabus over Jesus, so much for justice.
To Calvary, he went. Weakened as he was, Simon of Cyrene was conscripted by the Romans to carry the cross of Christ and the Golgathan drama began. Nails were driven into his hands and feet, and there he hung, suffering, parched with a terrible thirst, the crown of thorns on His head causing his blood to drip and his spirit to yearn for the end. He felt all alone, even abandoned by His Father, as he took upon himself the sins of the world, of you and me. In that lonely state, he cried out:
MY GOD, MY GOD WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?
But then, mercifully, it was over. And his parting words were:
IT IS FINISHED!
That ultimate act of redemption was accomplished once and for all, for all mankind, for you and for me. There were those at the time who saw the event, witnessed the horrible act of Roman crucifixion, and watched the innocent Jesus of Nazareth suffer. They witnessed his body taken down from that cross, and the man Joseph, wrapping it in fine linen and laying the precious body of Jesus Christ in that very own and special tomb.
That was Friday, but then came Sunday. On the third day, this son of the living God, with the power of God, rose from the dead, and accomplished the greatest event in human history:
THE RESURRECTION.
Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph or’e his foes. He arose the victor from the dark domain, and he lives forever with his saints to reign. Blessed are we, by the millions and millions, who have never seen but who believe, nonetheless.
BLESSED ARE WE!
And we are indeed, for Gentile and Jew, anyone for that matter, all humankind, can have the incredible benefits of the crucifixion and the resurrection, a life of reconciliation here and life eternal there. Death is destroyed, for there now is no more death. We who believe will live eternally with Him so that the life we now live is redeemed, cleansed, and forgiven by His BLOOD. And we will be raised like HIM in our very own resurrection morning to know HIM and to live eternally with HIM.
Thank God for that third day. Life here and now is one of joy, unspeakable rejoicing, praise, worship, and thanksgiving because of this great offense, the cross of Jesus Christ, the crucifixion, and the resurrection.
So, my fellow Christians, on Easter Sunday and every other day, may we praise God for Jesus of Nazareth, and:
THANK GOD FOR HIS UNSPEAKABLE GIFT!

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