Some people believe there are many ways to God. The cross stands alone because of the One who died on it. Pastor Lutzer points to three new realities because of Jesus’ death on the cross: our standing before God, our personal value, and our worship. Throughout all of eternity, we will be reminded of the cross.
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Transcript: Welcome to “5 Minutes with Pastor Lutzer.” Thank you so much for joining us today as we begin a brand new series that I think will bless your heart. It’s entitled “Cries from the Cross.” Now I’ve written a book by that title but we are going to be lingering at the foot of the cross, looking at the sayings of Jesus just before He died. You know that last words are very important, and in this introductory episode we’re going to be reminded of what was taking place there on the cross of Jesus Christ. You know we’re living in a world with so many shouting voices. So much information is coming to us. Would you be sure to let your friends know about this series and to subscribe, follow, and share? Because I think that we need a word from God. We need to back off and think of what happened there on the cross where we were redeemed.
Well, that’s a good place to begin actually. I want to ask you a question today. Were you there when they crucified my Lord? I remember as a boy singing that song and thinking that is kind of foolish. Of course, I wasn’t there 2,000 years ago! But then when I began to study the Bible and study theology I realized that I was there. The scripture says in the book of Hebrews that Jesus “having made purification for sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” He purified sins on the cross for all who would believe. And so in a sense we were there. And then the Apostle Paul picks this up and talks about the fact that we were crucified with Christ. We were dead and buried, and raised with Him. So, my friend, you and I were there. And that’s why it’s so important for us to take another look at what happened at Calvary.
Now it’s very important for us to realize that the cross is grossly misunderstood today. It’s worn as a pendant for example by rockstars and athletes. Perhaps you’ve heard me tell the story about sitting on a plane. Rebecca was next to me. I was on the aisle. And across the way there was a woman wearing a cross. And I said to her, “We really do have a wonderful Savior, don’t we? Thanks for wearing that cross.” And she said, “Well, I think I see the cross differently than you do.” And she scooped it up in her hand and she showed me that there was a little pendant to the god, Om, and a Jewish star and she said, “I discovered that people come to God in different ways.” Well, you can imagine the interesting discussion we had as flight attendants were walking between us, when I tried to help her to see that the cross cannot be combined with any other religion, with any other agenda. It must stand alone. It is entirely unique because of the One who died on that cross.
I love the cross. Paul says, “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross.”
And then you find those who say, “Well, it’s a testament to how valuable we are. Jesus died for us because we are so valuable.” Well, yes, but I have to tell you this, God does not honor anyone who, first of all, is not humbled by the cross. That’s why we approach this series with great humility, with great brokenness, with a sense of devotion and a sense of worship. We must remember, of course, that the purpose of the cross of Jesus Christ was to resolve two attributes of God. And we’ll be getting into this and thinking of its implications. On the one hand, love wanted to redeem but love could not redeem until justice was entirely satisfied. And you and I must remember that there on the cross the attributes of God came together in such a way and it is there that we were redeemed, redeemed by the power of God. What an event. It is indeed a pivotal event.
I want to remind you that throughout all of eternity, we’re going to be reminded of the cross. I think for example of the nail prints in the hands of Jesus. I have to tell you the story of Martin Luther. He was named Martin because he was born on Saint Martin’s Day. And there was a legend about Saint Martin. And that is that he had an apparition of Jesus but to make sure that it was Jesus (Saint Martin knew that Satan can also take the form of Jesus) he glanced to see if the apparition had nail prints. But just as he glanced the apparition disappeared. So he never knew was he visited by God or was he visited by an apparition from Satan. Was it Jesus or was it the devil? Well one way that we are going to tell about Jesus and recognize Him is when we are in His presence and we shall see nail prints. As a matter of fact it says in the Book of Revelation, “I saw, as it were, a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world.” A remembrance of the cross.
There was a song we used to sing. I’m going to see if I can quote some of the words:
I shall know Him. I shall know Him,When redeemed at His side I shall stand.I shall know Him. I shall know HimBy the nail prints in His hand.
One other illustration. In Africa there is a story that comes to us about a hut that was on fire. The entire family burned to death sadly but a boy was rescued. A man came and ran into the hut while it was burning and rescued the child. Now the next day they had a discussion as to who should adopt the child. That was a good question to ask. A rich man said, “I should have the child.” Another wise man said, “He’d be better off in my home.” And in the midst of this discussion a man appeared and showed them his hands, freshly burned from the night before. And he said that he had prior claim.
Someone has written:
The other gods were strong but Thou wast weak.They strode but Thou didst stumble to Thy throne.But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak.And not a God has wounds but thine alone.
We have a Savior with wounds. Be sure to tell your friends about this because we’re going to explore together the words of Jesus Christ from the cross. Please remember to subscribe, follow, and share. And you already know how I’m going to end this. As for today, you just go with God.