The empty cross is full of hope

Published 12:43 pm Thursday, May 27, 2021

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Why do Christians “ lory in the cross” when Jesus had to die on the cross for something as ugly as sin, but call it victory? – G.C.
Dear G.C.: There is victory in the cross because it represents doom for sin and hope for sinners. It condemns sin and cleanses souls. The bloodstained cross is gruesome to some, but the empty cross is full of hope.
Satan, overly eager to thwart God’s purposes, overstepped his bounds, and God turned what seemed to be life’s greatest tragedy into history’s greatest triumph. The death of Christ, perpetrated by evil men, was thought by them to be the end, but His grave became but a doorway to victory.
The ultimate victory of the cross is that it could not hold the Savior of the world. He finished His work for mankind there, but the cross did not finish Him. He triumphed over sin and death, winning salvation for mankind. The resurrection story of Jesus Christ is what gives meaning and power to the cross. What a failure Christianity would be if it could not carry our hopes beyond the coldness and depths of the grave.
Some believe that Jesus died leaving a legacy of “do good to your neighbor,” never believing that He was raised from the dead. Others think the resurrection was a hoax or that Jesus never lived at all.
But the truth is that though the cross repels, it also attracts. It possesses a magnetic quality. It has become the symbol of Christianity because the cross is where Jesus purchased our redemption and provided a righteousness that we could not ourselves earn. True believers in Jesus glory in the cross of Christ because He shed His precious blood to cover man’s sin; He conquered death so that we might live forever with Him in Glory. And as the great song says: “Because He lives, we can face tomorrow.”
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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