For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
The cross is the central symbol of the gospel. Without the cross, there would be no gospel. Without the cross, there is no salvation.
In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, he writes, “I saw that just as Christian came up with the Cross, his burden loosed from his shoulders, and fell off his back and landed in the sepulcher. Then was Christian glad and lightsome and said with a merry heart, ‘He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death.’”
In the Colossians verses we’re studying in this devotional, Paul explains that by the cross Jesus provided a way for mankind to be reconciled to God and have peace with Him. Most people are unaware of this truth, but we were all born enemies of God. Romans 5:10 states, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life.” Yes, at one time, we were all enemies of God. However, by way of the cross, Jesus has provided a way for us to have peace with God and experience the peace of God. This is the gospel, and the cross is the centerpiece of this incredible reality. Have you come to the cross? Come as you are.
Raymond Lull was born in 1232 to a wealthy family on an island off the coast of Spain. His early life was spent in debauchery and, as he later put it, “utter immorality.” Yet he was recognized by his peers in Spain as a young man of brilliance and promise. During his early thirties, Lull was born again as a result of a dream or vision that he experienced. He saw “the Savior hanging on His cross, the blood trickling from His hands and feet and brow, looking reproachfully at him.” As a result, Lull soon gave his life to Christ and devoted himself to the ministry, becoming a missionary to the Muslims and eventually dying a martyrs’ death at age eighty. Lull came to realize that it was the cross that opened the door to heaven. Thus, Lull came to the cross.
Michael W. Smith sings a song entitled, Come to the Cross. The lyrics are as follows:
Mourner, wherever you are,
Wherever you are, at the cross there is room,
Tell your burdened heart,
Your burdened heart, at the cross there is room.
Tell it in the Savior’s ear,
Cast away your every fear,
Only speak and He will hear.
Sinner, come today,
Come today, at the cross there is room.
Blessed thoughts for everyone,
For everyone can come to the cross.
Have you come to the cross? If not, come now just as you are. Share your deepest burdens with the Savior because He cares for you. And experience God’s gracious mercy, forgiveness, and eternal rest.