So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Although they may not have understood fully the phrase they used, the soldiers made an appropriate confession. Not only was Jesus the Son of God in this picture, He is the Son of God and today, the cross continues to carry that message. You, see, the cross was always part of God’s plan. “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.” (Acts 2:23 NKJV) and “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” (Isaiah 53:10 NKJV)
God’s incredible plan to spend eternity with His creation always included belief in His Son, Jesus and His victory over sin through the cross. There is triumph in the cross. You see, the cross brings glory to Jesus Christ. “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.” (John 17:1 NKJV) The cross brings a message of reconciliation; a change in the relationship between God and man. Without reconciliation we are powerless, ungodly, sinners and enemies. Reconciliation takes place through the cross of Christ. “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:9-10 NKJV)
Identification with the crucified Christ releases believers from their old way of life into a new life. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV) Jesus Christ triumphs over and disarms all the powers of evil arrayed against Him. Believers are able to share in this victory through faith in Jesus Christ. It is by faith in the Son of God, Jesus, that we have life. When we say that, “We are in Christ” what we are truly saying is that we have an intimate relationship with Jesus, Himself. And that intimate relationship starts with regular, daily time in prayer and the study of God’s Word.
Friend, Jesus is the Son of God and the message of the cross is the same today as it was when Jesus died. How do I know that? Well, before Jesus began His walk to Calvary, He did something incredibly loving and powerful. He prayed. He prayed for all of us. It’s true. Follow me in the Gospel of John, Chapter 17:20-26.
““I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” Did you get this? Jesus fully knew what faced Him at Calvary. Yes, He prayed for the Father to release Him from this plan. ““Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42 NKJV) But He quickly turned His focus on praying for His disciples and praying for you and for me. Such love cannot be defined or comprehended. There was nothing more important to Jesus than suffering and dying on the cross for us so that we could spend eternity with Him. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17 NKJV) Do you want to know something else? Since before time began, Jesus loved you with an everlasting love. Nothing can cause Jesus to love you less. Nothing! So when Jesus was on the cross, you were on His mind. You can be sure today that you will spend eternity with the Son of God, who loves you and gave Himself for you. How? By believing in faith that Jesus died for your sin and rose from the grave to defeat sin and death for you. But you have to make a choice. God gives you a choice. Will you give up your life to receive eternal life? “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” (Mark 8:35 NKJV) Pray this little prayer. It’s not the prayer that saves you, it’s your faith in what Jesus did on the cross for you. It’s the Message of the Cross.
Precious Jesus, thank You for the Cross, Lord. Thank You that You loved us from the beginning of time. I want to make the choice; to declare that I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I desire to spend eternity with You, Jesus and I believe that You died for me and rose from the grave to defeat my sin and eternal death. Forgive me, now, Lord Jesus and come into my life as Lord and Savior. I submit my life into Your hands and receive eternal life through my faith and belief in You. Thank You for the Cross, Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN
Don’t believe me, believe God!