by Ron Graham
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,” Philippians 2:8.
What is the significance of the cross of Christ? Well first of all we know that Jesus Christ came to fulfill His Fathers will “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done,” Luke 22:42. The prayer of Jesus is significant because Jesus is talking about redemption for man. He’s asking His Father in Heaven if it is possible. If what is possible? “If salvation for man is possible by any other means than the cross, let this cup pass from Me.” That’s basically what He was praying. That is why the cross of Jesus Christ offends many people today, because they say Christianity is too narrow.
“All roads lead to God. It doesn’t matter who you believe in, it doesn’t matter what so called religion you put your faith in.” But the cross of Jesus Christ declares that there is only one way to God, and that is through the shed blood of our perfect God Himself. If it were possible that man could be saved by being religious, the cross would be unnecessary. If he could be saved by keeping the law, the cross would be unnecessary. If he could be saved by being good, the cross would be unnecessary.
The Gospel declares that there is only one way by which a man can have forgiveness of sins and approach God, and that is through the death of Jesus Christ, and it declares a narrow, one-way path. And that’s why it offends a lot of people. And so the cross, the Bible says, is an offense to the Jews. To the Greeks, it’s foolishness. “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;” 1Corinthians 1:23 “…for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16. So Jesus is praying about the cross, really asking the Father for a substitute way, if it is possible. The fact that He went to the cross declares it was not possible. There was only one way by which man could be redeemed.
The most important thing to remember is this: what Jesus did by willingly going to that cross was to create a way, a narrow way, for all mankind to be saved. Will all mankind be saved? Jesus’ next statement will answer that question “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:” Matthew 7:13. Many, that’s the operative word here, many will not believe in the sufficiency of the cross. Then He backs it up with His next statement “Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it,” Matthew 7:14. Jesus is the strait gate and the narrow way, and He’s made the proclamation that few will enter in by the only way possible.
What Jesus accomplished on that cross almost 2000 years ago is quite sufficient for anyone and everyone who wishes to spend eternity with God. The sufficiency of what Jesus did can not be added to or taken away from. As a matter of fact it is considered blasphemous to do so. Jesus didn’t die that horrible death to be a part of our salvation; He went through all that He did to be the one and only way we can be saved “…That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved,” Romans 10:9. It really is that simple. Jesus’ death on the cross was not a tragedy; it was an accomplishment and a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
God designed and then fulfilled with precise completeness the sufficiency of the cross so everyone, everyone, could enter into a believing relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. But God won’t force anyone to chose Heaven if they would rather not, and entering Heaven through some alternative route is impossible. There are many religions and cults that believe they have the answer to eternal life and that one can enter Heaven from many avenues other than by that which the Bible proclaims. These groups are terribly deceived. Those who teach that there is another way to enter Heaven other than by Jesus Christ, will actually be in worse condition then others who just refused to believe, when they stand before the judgment seat of God, “…even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction,” 2 Peter 2:1. “MY brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment,” James 3:1.
Many people reject the truth of the Bible. They proclaim it to be a book full of myth, steeped in antiquity with no basis for factual evidence, so of course it can’t be trusted, besides the fact that it was written by men. These people have no idea of what the Bible is really all about, and furthermore they don’t really care. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned,” 1 Corinthians 2:14. Spiritually discerned means, only those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them are given, by God, the ability to understand the scriptures. For all others the Bible is foolishness. The very fact that these deceived people go out of their way to try and disprove the Bible is a testimony of just how true and inerrant we find the word of God. Although many have set their sights on a lifetime pursuit of trying to prove the Bible false, no one in all of history has ever been successful in their attempts at invalidating any part of the Holy Scriptures. All they’ve done is prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Bible is the complete and accurate truth.
“Sixty-six books written by over forty men who for the most part didn’t even know each other, over a period of some two thousand years, and yet from Genesis to Revelation the Bible is one integrated design. The fingerprints of the Holy Spirit are all through it.”
Many Christians aren’t even aware that the Bible is packed with fulfilled prophecy. And this fact is what authenticates God’s word. God is not restrained by space or time; He is actually outside of our time domain, but that fact doesn’t mean He isn’t totally involved in mankind’s existence. God sees the beginning that He created and the end of it all, and He sees all this at the exact same time. God knew who would accept the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and who wouldn’t and He had this information at His fingertips before the creation of the world. God can’t learn and He can’t be surprised. He already knows everything, He’s the creator. God had already decided what He needed to do to save mankind before the first man ever set foot on the face of this earth. He knew all the sins we would commit before He even created us. So you can see that fulfilled prophecy is the most powerful of all proofs that the Bible is God breathed.
If people won’t accept the truth of what happened on that cross 2000 years ago, that’s their choice. Just because some won’t believe it, doesn’t negate the fact that the powerful completeness of the cross is undeniable. Jesus tells us in His word that many won’t believe and will remain lost. They will follow the path that leads to destruction, pray for them; on the other hand all who will put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ and in the sufficiency of what He accomplished on the cross and through His resurrection will discover their future and eternal home is in Heaven.
As for me and my family we have made the decision to follow the Lord, striving to proclaim the Gospel even in the face of all persecution, giving thanks to God in all things, and living for His Glory. Amen.
God bless you all,