This week is referred to as “Holy Week”. The “Holy Week” encompasses all of the events in the last week of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry. It begins with Palm Sunday and ends with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Obviously, the Holy Week contains what scholars refer to as the “Passion of Christ”. The “Passion of Christ” is the term given to the extreme suffering of Christ beginning with His prayer and betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane and ending with His resurrection. It contains the six trials of Jesus, His beatings, His flogging, His crucifixion, His death, His burial, and His resurrection three days later. Jesus willingly suffered these things to provide atonement for sin, and to secure the salvation of His people. (Isaiah 52 & 53)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is essential to the Christian faith. It was wonderful and necessary that Christ was born of the virgin, came in the flesh, lived a sinless life, and worked miracles. However, His birth and life would have meant nothing to us had He not died and rose again. Paul said it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:12-21 (ESV) - “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.”
Easter Sunday, indeed every Sunday, is about the Cross, and the empty tomb!
Our Christian faith comes down to this fact, Jesus Christ came to die on the Cross for our sins. He would rise from the dead on the third day to secure the salvation of those who believe and trust in Him and His work on the Cross of Calvary. For Christians, Easter Sunday, indeed every Sunday, is about the Cross, and the empty tomb! I guess you could say we glory in the Cross. Why do Christians glory in the Cross when the Cross is an instrument of brutality and death? We glory in the Cross for many reasons. However, I will briefly list the three primary reasons why Christians glory in the Cross. Each point could be its own article or sermon. Hopefully, the reader will be inspired to study out each point. First, we glory in the Cross because of the Person of the Cross. When you read Galatians 6:14, you readily understand that the Cross we are to glory in is connected to the Christ. Christians do not glory in crosses in general. No. Christians glory in the Cross of Christ. Galatians 6:14 (KJV) reads, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” You see, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Cross of Calvary are inseparable. When Christians glory in the Cross, we are actually glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ because dying on the Cross was His purpose in coming to this earth. (John 12:27) Secondly, Christians glory in the Cross because of the power of the Cross. There is power in the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV) reads, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” We glory in the Cross of Christ because there is power in the Cross to provide total healing for the total man. This total healing encompasses spiritual healing (salvation), physical healing, and mental/emotional healing. All three things were prophesied by Isaiah at least seven hundred years before the crucifixion took place. Isaiah 53:5 (ESV) - “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Lastly, Christians glory in the Cross because of the purpose of the Cross. The purpose of the Cross was to destroy the works of the devil. The Apostle John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, worded it this way in 1 John 3:8 (ESV) - “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” The word “destroy” in this Scripture does not mean “to annihilate”. After all, it is obvious that the devil is still at work today. So, what does the word “destroy” mean in 1 John 3:8? It means “to render inoperative” or “to rob of power”. Therefore, when one believes in faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the Cross of Calvary, the works of the devil are then rendered inoperative in that believer’s life. The power of the enemy has been robbed, or broken, and is therefore ineffective against a child of God. This means that ultimately, sin, the penalty of sin, and the damaging effects of sin have been destroyed in the life of a believer. It was destroyed through the Cross. The destruction will be fully realized when Christ returns. In other words, it has been destroyed from God’s perspective, but it is being destroyed from our perspective as we grow in our discipleship, and it will fully be destroyed when Christ returns. This week take time to study out what happened each day of Holy Week. Spend a considerable amount of time on the Passion of Christ. This study should cause you to glory in the Cross along with all the Christians around the world. Christians glory in the Cross because of the Person of the Cross, the power of the Cross, and the purpose of the Cross. If you are a Christian, then glory in the Cross.