The Cross of Christ and The Power of God
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
What is it about the cross of Christ that makes it the “power of God”?
It is not the cross itself, as if a piece of wood had some special power. Many have sought, to no avail, to find the remains of the wood that made up the cross. Even if they found it, it would be no more than a useless piece of dried, rotted, probably petrified, wood. The power is not in the cross as an emblem or in a representations of the cross that people hang on walls or wear around their necks. The preaching of and the power of the cross is two-fold:
(1) It is the Person who died on the cross – Christ Jesus the Lord of glory. Paul wrote, “But we preach CHRIST crucified,” (1 Corinthians 1:23). The Son of God incarnate, God in human flesh, died on the cross. He is the one and only messiah, the Godman, the one mediator between God and men.
(2) It is what Christ accomplished in His death on the cross. He redeemed and justified all that the Father had given Him. He took their sins upon Himself and paid their debt to God’s justice in full. He established an everlasting righteousness of infinite value which was imputed to all of God’s elect when He said, “It is finished.” Christ enabled God the Father to be both a just God and a Savior for all of the redeemed.
These great truths which establish the cross of Christ as the power of God were shown openly when Christ was raised from the dead. He was raised from the dead because of the redemption and justification of His people, all for whom He lived and died. That same power is demonstrated in the result of Christ’s finished work on the cross – He sends His Spirit to give spiritual life in the new birth to all whom He redeemed and justified on the cross. All whom He justified must be spiritually raised from the dead by the power of Christ.
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22).