July 16, 2024

Weekly Manna: The Cross Of Jesus

Ph.2:5-8; Heb.12:2
The cross according to Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary is: “An upright wooden stake or post on which Jesus was executed. Before the manner of Jesus’ death causes the cross to symbolize the heart of the Christian faith, the Greek word for cross referred primarily to a pointed stake used in rows to the walls of a defensive stockade.
It was common in the biblical period for the bodies of executed persons to be publicly displayed by hanging them from the stakes of the stockade wall. This was done to discourage civil disobedience and to mock defeated military foes (Gen.40:19; I Sam.31:8-13). This gruesome practice may explain how the stake eventually came to be used as an instrument of civil and military punishment. Such stakes came to be used later with crossbeams as instruments of humiliation, torture, and execution for persons convicted as enemies of the state (foreign soldiers, rebels and spies, for example) or of civil criminal (such as robbers).
Usage in the Ancient World. During the old testament period, there is no evidence that the Jews fastened people to stake or a cross as a means of execution. The law directed death by stoning (Lev.20:2; Deut.22:24). But the law did permit the public display (or ‘‘hanging’’) of a lawbreaker’s body ‘‘on a tree’’ (Deut.21:22) strictly commanding that the ‘‘body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day’’ (Deut. 21:23): (also see ).
Grisly as a practice seems today, it did set Israel from other nations. The degrading practice most often used throughout the ancient world was the victim to rot in public. Persons so displayed (or ‘‘hanged’’) after execution by stoning for breaking Israel’s Law were said to be ‘‘accursed of God.’’ This helps explain the references to Jesus’ being killed ‘‘y hanging on a tree’’

  1. To activate God’s saving power (I Cor.1:1118).
  2. To reconcile us to God (Eph.2:16).
  3. To make the peace of God available unto us (Col.1:20).
  4. So as to be able to nail whatever is contrary to our wellbeing unto His cross (Col.2:14).
    II. Our Part to Play
    Let us bear in mind that it is possible for a person who calls himself a Christian to be a real enemy of the cross through the way he lives his life (Phil.3:17-21).
  5. There are so many ways of walking as enemy of the cross. One will be an enemy of the cross,
    (a) If after calling himself a Christian his life is driving people away from Jesus.
    (b) If he adulterates the gospel and then present it to men as the true gospel.
    (c) If he will preach the dictations of his heart, the suppositions of men or the doctrines of demons in the name of the gospel.
    (d) If he will use satanic power in his ‘‘gospel’’ campaign and calls it the power of God.
  6. For the cross of Jesus not to be of non-effect in our lives, we must make sure its benefits manifest in our lives. For this to happen,
    (a) We must be saved,
    (b) We must live a good life (Rm.6:6-11),
    (c) We must be sanctified,
    (d) We must enjoy the peace of God.
  7. We must also carry our cross daily and follow Jesus (Mt.10:38). This means that we must prepare to endure whatever comes to our ways for Jesus’ sake.
  8. We must not compromise our stand so as to escape persecution for Jesus’ sake (Gal.5:11; 36:12-14).