Wikipedia, the popular web dictionary describes “crucifixion” in the following manner: “Crucifixion was rarely performed for ritual or symbolic reasons, but usually to provide a death that was particularly painful (hence the term excruciating . . . ), gruesome (hence dissuading against the crimes punishable by it), and public (hence the metaphorical expression ‘to nail to the cross’), using whatever means were most expedient for that goal.”

The cross of Jesus Christ, a gruesome death, is the deepest expression of the Father’s love for us. It is this life-transforming truth that undergirds the Scriptures. The clearest expression of the power of the cross is, of course, found in the New Testament.

According to Philippians 2:8, the eternal Christ took on flesh and blood so that He might endure the agonizing death of the cross. Because of this, the cross of Christ is our boast (Galatians 6:14).

1 Corinthians 1:17-18 asserts that the power of the cross of Christ is the gospel message and not eloquent words of human wisdom. Simply stated, the message of the cross, the declaration of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection is the power of God. Now, despite its effective power, the cross is an offense to some and an enemy of many (Galatians 5:11; 6:12; Philippians 3:18). The glory and the power of the cross is that it reconciles its enemies, it ends hostility, it makes peace, and it makes a public spectacle of all powers and authorities (Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20; 2:15).

Now remember, the message and the power of the cross are not merely related to pieces of wood and a human body. The power of the cross is the incarnate Christ, Who, in the decree of God died as our High Priest. His once-for-all sacrifice paid the debt of your sin and my sin (Hebrews 10:10-12).

So what do you think would be an appropriate response to these divine realities? Perhaps the best response is the exhortation of the writer of Hebrews, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:22).