Speaker: Lukus Counterman - It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the cross of Jesus Christ. For whether we are thinking about Christ’s words from the cross, his words about the cross, or the biblical doctrines of the cross, in every case the cross is central to Christianity. But perhaps more than a mere centerpiece, we should declare that without the cross there is no Christianity at all. By itself, the incarnation does not give us a substitute, it merely offers us an example. And no one has ever been saved by successfully imitating Jesus’ example. We need the cross. Even the resurrection alone is not the essence of Biblical Christianity. The death of Jesus by means of old age and natural causes would not suffice. For if Jesus rose from the dead after a cause of death like that, there would be no forgiveness of sins. The writer of Hebrews puts it this way, “For without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” My friends, we need the cross. In the same breath, we might say that the cross is simple and yet profound. It is plainly stated in 1Corinthians 15:3, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” Can it be presented any more simply than that? But don’t be fooled by the brevity of that statement. It is not trite. In fact, the simple cross can simultaneously stretch our minds to the utmost as we try to probe its depths. Our prayer this morning is that you would embrace the power and wisdom of the cross. May the Word inform you, and may the Spirit transform you as we meditate on the emblem of suffering and shame – the cross.