Pastor Michael Nirva - Senior Pastor - Trinity Lutheran Church
The Power of the Cross of Jesus Christ
John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
When Jesus died on the cross, He brought to the hearts of people numerous gifts and blessings. Above all Jesus gave us the forgiveness of sins and smashed the wall that people had built, on account of their sins, between themselves and the Almighty. When Jesus commended His soul to His Heavenly Father on the altar of the cross, He made it possible for every redeemed, believing heart to confess that they are saved by faith alone.
Years ago, when ships still solely relied on compasses, it was possible to go to a factory and see the needles for mariner compasses. One would see the needles before they were magnetized, pointing in all directions. But once the needles were magnetized, they received that curious power that caused them to point uniformly to the north.
All people without faith in Jesus Christ are like unmagnetized needles on sailors’ compasses. Separated from Him they wander, they flounder, and they stumble in the darkness of their sins. Consider the spiritual darkness of those people in the passion history. If only those who crucified Jesus could have looked through the lenses of God’s Holy Word at their evil actions, wouldn’t they have recognized how they had treated God’s own Son? They all had a part in the actions on Calvary, and yet none of His enemies were drawn to believe. The tragedy which followed their rejection of Jesus Christ is one of the darkest chapters in human history. Judas died by his own hand. Pilate was later removed as governor and later took his own life. Herod died in exile. Caiaphas was deposed the next year. The house of Annas was destroyed some years later. Many of that mob that demanded Jesus’s crucifixion lived to see the destruction of Jerusalem. They were all guilty of rejecting Jesus Christ.
The darkness of unbelief can be removed once the Holy Spirit applies the power of the Gospel of the Cross to people’s darkened lives, like spiritual compass needles they are drawn unerringly to the uplifted Christ. The cross of Christ draws all kinds of people to Himself, and grants eternal salvation for all believers.
This divine love calls Christians to lives of gratitude in service of the Gospel. Jesus has redeemed us and asks us to tell others of His saving love. A love that embraces the world, that sacrifices for them none other than the eternal Son of God, that offers life forever instead of everlasting damnation on the sole condition of faith, simply staggers the mind. This love calls believers to a life of self-surrender to the Redeemer and to go forth in faith. Amen.