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Why the Cross for Easter?

Why the Cross? A symbol of death to bring life

  1. March 31, Christians worldwide will celebrate Resurrection Day, Easter Sunday. Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ in defeating death, there would be no Christianity. The main symbol of Easter is not the bunny or the egg. I'm not sure which one came first, the bunny or the egg, but that is another thought—no use chasing skinny rabbits.

The symbol of Easter is the cross of Jesus. Each year at Easter, churches put up crosses—a symbol of the cross we take up in our faith. The symbol of the cross today is not what it was to the people in the time of Jesus. The Roman government used the cross as a painful and disgraceful way of death for the worst crimes.

Jesus went to the cross, dying as a sacrifice for our sins, a major part of our faith. But why the cross?

The cross was necessary to fulfill God’s eternal plan. Not long after Jesus returned to heaven, his friend Peter preached to the people of Jerusalem. He said, “This man [Jesus] was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross” (Acts 2:23, NIV). God knew about the crucifixion of his Son even before it happened. He not only knew about it, he permitted it. He not only allowed it, he purposed it. The cross was essential to his plan for humanity.

The cross was part of God’s plan because it was the only way to save human beings from their sins.

The power of the cross today is redemption from sin.

God couldn’t simply overlook our sins. To do that might have been loving, but it would not have been holy. Justice would not have been served. Our sins would not have been paid for. Nor did God condemn us to die for our own sins. That would have been holy, but it would not have fully demonstrated God’s love.

The question of your faith “Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross, not just for the sins of others, but for your sins?” Easter is the most personal of all church celebrations. It is about your salvation. There is no other way than Jesus Christ and the cross. Today, the cross symbolizes your life because of the love of Jesus. He went to the cross for you.

What you must understand to be saved: the necessity of the cross. The cross is necessary, not just in a general way as part of God’s eternal plan, but for your salvation from sin and death.

Luke 14:27, “Anyone does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” What does it mean to carry the cross? It means daily identification with Christ. The same shame, suffering, and surrender to God’s will. The cross is part of Easter, but it means putting aside the world and accepting God’s plan for your life.

Pastor Russell