For Christians the cross represents victory over sin and death, for it was upon this torture instrument, that Jesus Christ became the “propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2) opening up the way to eternal life for whosoever would believe (John 3:16). Writing to Christians in Corinth, the Apostle Paul commented on the cross:
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. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (1 Cor. 1:18-25)
Jesus sacrificial death provided the ultimate atonement
“knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Pet. 1:18-19)
Yet it was Jesus resurrection that sealed the reality and provides unambiguous evidence that death has been conquered opening the door to all who would “take life’s waters free” (John 4:14; Rev. 22:17). The Christian Gospel is a simple yet powerful message:
“Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead” (1 Cor. 15:3-4, 20-21)
This is the power of the cross, a symbol of victory over death, one which reminds Christians of our Lords eternal sacrifice – We love because he first loved us. (1 Jn, 4:19).