As followers of Jesus, we are so thankful for the power of the cross! Let’s begin with a review. In the Old Testament, blood sacrifices were made often for the forgiveness sin. Why was forgiveness necessary and what was with the need for blood? Well, first we have a perfect God and He does not tolerate sin. Also, God gives life. It says in the Bible: sin is death. The life of any living thing is in the blood. We all need blood to keep us alive. In the Old Testament, forgiveness and life were restored by the sacrifice of another life.
Jesus became the perfect sacrifice. Jesus says “It is finished” on the cross. This means Jesus accomplished God’s plan for salvation. He took all sin on Himself and paid the full penalty for our sins. Once, for all. His perfect blood washed us clean of sin. Thank goodness blood sacrifices are no longer required. Jesus created a pathway for us to access our heavenly Father because sin no longer stands in between us. What’s more is 3 days later, when Jesus rose from the dead, he conquered death for us! Now we have eternal life as well as forgiveness! That is the power of the cross!
So many Christians stop here! Jesus said "It is finished" on the cross. After his resurrection, but before His ascension, He walked on the earth for 40 more days to continue to teach about the power of the Holy Spirit! Jesus prepared his disciples to live without Him and to grow the Christian church through the power of the Holy Spirit. He tells them in John 16:7 It is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t the advocate (counselor, encourager, comforter) won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. John 20:22 He (Jesus) breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit was a part of God’s salvation plan all along. When we invite Jesus into our lives to be the Lord of our lives, it is the person of the Holy Spirit who enters us and guides, comforts and encourages us. Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. There are many other Bible verses where Jesus explains Christ lives in us. Jesus validates this over and over again in scripture. If you have been baptized, you made a public profession to die to yourself and be buried with Christ, so you could rise and have new life through Christ within you.
Do we understand the power of the Holy Spirit? Ephesians 1:19:20 I pray you understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same power that raised Christ from the dead! This is the Power of the Resurrection! This is life! The Holy Spirit wants and waits for us to call upon this power for the glory of God! If we truly live every day in this power, and speak with this power, can you imagine powerful changes that could take place? If we took our concerns to the Father and prayed in the power of the Holy Spirit, what would we overcome? Ephesians 3:20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
It’s all about transformation. The power of the resurrection allows our identity to be that of new life and not of sin and despair. Let’s not walk around dead but alive in Christ! Please don’t stop with the awesome power of the cross, continue the journey to the incredible power of the resurrection and allow Christ to live in you as the Holy Spirit! Call on the power of the Holy Spirit everyday but especially when you need it most.
Read the book of Acts to see how the Holy Spirit changed everything for the disciples. They preached on the power of the resurrection more than anything else. This is how they built the church and won people over to Christ. Nothing has changed, creating disciples continues to be the great commission for us today.