What Is the Purpose of Preaching the Cross?

When we have repented, God guarantees not to just remove our wrongdoing but to also provide spiritual renewal. In the wake of calling attention to our transgressions, the meaning of the resurrection, and God's victory and control over death are revealed.

Contributing Writer
Published Dec 22, 2021
What Is the Purpose of Preaching the Cross?

Pilate had chosen to let Jesus go, yet some people had cried out to let the murderer Barabbas loose (John 19:1-16). When Peter said "you handed him over to be killed” in Acts 3:13, he implied it in a real sense.

Jesus' trial and eventual crucifixion had happened not too far off in Jerusalem just weeks sooner. It was anything but an occasion of the far-off past. The vast majority of these individuals had caught wind of it, and some had partaken in denouncing him.

The religious leaders felt that they had stopped Jesus when they killed him. Yet, their certainty was shaken when Peter let them know that Jesus was alive again and that this time, they could not hurt him.

Peter's message underscored that they had their religious leaders kill Jesus (Acts 3:17) and that God resurrected him, and the disciples were observers to this truth.

In the wake of calling attention to the transgression and unfairness of these leaders, Peter showed the meaning of the resurrection, and God's victory and control over death.

Preaching the Cross

Jesus, not the disciples, had received the glory for the lame man’s healing. In those days, a man's name addressed his person; it represented his position and power. By utilizing Jesus' name, Peter showed who gave him the power and ability to heal.

The disciples did not stress what they could do, however, what God could do through them. Jesus' name is not to be utilized as an enchantment.

It should be utilized with a spiritual conviction. When we implore in the name of Jesus, we should recall that it is Jesus himself, not simply his name, who gives power to our prayers.

These predictions are found in Psalm 22, Isaiah 50, and Isaiah 53. Peter was clarifying the sort of Messiah that God had sent to the earth. The Jews had anticipated a military ruler, not a servant that would endure suffering.

John the Baptist paved the way for Jesus when he preached about repentance. The disciple’s call to salvation additionally included repenting, which is recognizing our individual sin and turning from it.

Many individuals want the benefits of being called a Christian without abandoning their sin and disobedience. The initial step to obtaining forgiveness is to admit our transgression and abandon it (Acts 2:38).

When we have repented, God guarantees not to just remove our wrongdoing but to also provide spiritual renewal. Repenting of our sins may at first appear to be excruciating in light of the fact that it is difficult to surrender specific sins. Yet, God will provide us with a superior way.

The "times of restitution" focus on the Second Coming, the Last Judgment, and the expulsion of all transgression from existence.

Most Jews believed that Joshua was this Prophet that Moses predicted (Deuteronomy 18:15). Peter was saying that it was Jesus Christ to whom Moses was alluding. Peter needed to show them that their anticipated Messiah had come.

He and each of the apostles were calling the Jewish people to acknowledge what they had done to their Messiah, to atone for their sins, and to believe in Jesus. Starting from here on in the Book of Acts, we see numerous Jews dismissing the gospel.

So, the message went additionally to the Gentiles, a considerable number of whom had hearts open to Jesus.

The Message of the Cross

The prophet Samuel lived during the time period when the nation of Israel changed from the judges to that of kings, and he was viewed as the first in a progression of prophets.

He blessed David as ruler, establishing the illustrious line of David, from which the Messiah at last came. Every one of the Old Testament prophets pointed toward the future Messiah.

God guaranteed Abraham that He would favor the world through his line of descendants, and the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3) from which the Messiah would come.

God desired the Jewish people to be a holy nation and to be separated from the world so that they would show God to the world, present the Messiah, and afterward continue his work on the planet.

After the times of Solomon, the country surrendered its central goal to educate the world regarding God, and during the apostolic time, it likewise dismissed its Messiah.

Now we will take a moment to examine the seven “p’s” of the Cross.

1. The promoters of the Cross. In Acts 3:13, we notice that the promoters of the cross “delivered up and denied him in the presence of Pilate when he was determined to let Jesus go.” In verse 14, they desired a murderer instead of the Messiah.

2. The Person of the Cross. In verse 13, we see “his Son Jesus.” In verse 14, we see the “Holy One and the Just.” In verse 15, we see the “Prince of Life.” And in verse 18, we see “Christ.”

3. The prophecy of the Cross. The prophecy of the cross was foretold in the Old Testament. Isaiah predicted the sufferings of the Savior (Isaiah 53).

Jesus had spoken of this before His death and now after His death (Matthew 16:21; Luke 24; Acts 1:8). Peter had changed. Previously he had denied Christ, but now his message proclaimed Christ.

4. The power of the Cross. It is responsible for the healing, in the raising of the dead, and of replenishing the multitude.

5. The program of the Cross. In verse 15, the program of the cross was to “kill the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead.”

In verse 18, the program of the cross was so that “Christ should suffer.” In verse 19, the program of the cross was so “that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come.

In verse 20, the program of the cross was so that “he shall send Jesus.” And in verse 21, the program of the cross was so that “the heaven must receive until the times of restitution.”

6. The plea of the Cross. “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38).

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

7. Preaching the Cross“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

For further reading:

What Is the Significance of the Cross?

Why Is the Cross More Symbolic Than the Tomb?

What Old Testament Prophecies Predicted Jesus and the Cross?

What Is the Gospel and Why Is it Good News?

What Does it Mean to Go ‘From Saved to Sent’?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/manusapon_kasosod

Chris SwansonChris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. You can check out his work here.


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