"Hallelujah, thank you Jesus, I was a prisoner, now I'm not! With your blood you, bought my freedom, hallelujah for the cross." Hallelujah, for the Cross - Passion
"This the power of the cross, Christ became sin for us, took the blame, bore the wrath, we stand forgiven at the cross." The Power of the Cross – Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend.
Crosses are everywhere. They hang around peoples necks. It is not uncommon today to see tattoos of crosses on human flesh in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors. Crosses hang on the walls of homes and stand in churches and cathedrals all over the world.
There are several references in church history from early fathers such as Tertullian and Cyprian that may have employed the use of the cross for symbolic purposes as early as the 2nd century. The symbol of the cross as representative of Christianity began truly after the conversion of Constantine in the early parts of the 4th century. John Stott, author of the "The Cross of Christ" suggests that early believers had several images that would be of use to them as identifiers. Images such as a manger, boat, and the famous fish symbol, the ichthcys, which served as an acronym for Iesus Christos Theos Huios Soter (Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior). Stott suggests that Christians wanted to "commemorate as central to their understanding of Jesus neither his birth nor his youth, neither his teaching nor his service, neither his resurrection nor his reign, nor his gift of the Spirit, but his death, his crucifixion."
The cross has always been central to the Christian faith. For us, as the two stanzas above suggest, the cross eludes to several essential theological truths.
In Hallelujah for the Cross, the chorus reminds us that before the cross, we were enslaved to sin. Romans 6:17-18 that we who were once slaves to sin, have been set free and are now slaves to righteousness! The blood shed on the cross offered the payment required by God for redemption!
The Power of the Cross bears the weight of sin upon Christ on the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says "For our sake he made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." John MacArthur helps us here in his notes on this passage. "God the Father, using the principle of imputation, treated Christ as if he were a sinner though he was not, and had him die as a substitute to pay the penalty for the sins of those who believe in him…the wrath of God was exhausted on him and the just requirement of God's law met for those for whom he died."
And as the last line of the chorus says, "we stand forgiven at the cross." Praise the Lord for this grand design, written before the world began. Friends, every time we come together on Sunday, we must be reminded of these truths. We must sing of the cross, the blood, the price that was paid and the forgiveness offered to all mankind. These truths mark as, like the symbol of the cross, as people who have been redeemed. Sing it out church!