First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

Gateway to all our WebPages

  "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
 . . .  Colossians 1:10  . . .
The True Cross

Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 7/13/03

Text: John 19:16-35
  • Introduction

Crosses are common today. To be sure they are on and in many churches and church signs. I regularly see the cross symbol on bumper stickers and are popular jewelry adornments, especially on necklaces. I have seen cross’ worn by Christians and, I have a cross tie tac that I wear from time to time. Likewise, I have seen crosses on rock stars and even Goth girls and guys. However, the purpose of this message is to remind us of the Christian significance of the cross. We must remember that the cross is neither a talisman nor a good luck charm. It is neither merely a pretty ornament nor an insignificant symbol. The cross is a symbol of pain, distress, burden bearing and above all a symbol of death.

Historically, crosses, the instrument of capital punishment, come in five different varieties.

(†) The Latin cross or crux immissa, was the kind of cross on which our Savior died. Above our Lord’s head, on the projecting beam, was placed the "title."

(X) St. Andrew’s cross or crux decussata is in the shape of a capital X. It is called St. Andrew’s cross because history says the Apostle Andrew was crucified on this kind of cross.

(T) St. Anthony’s cross or crux commissa, so called because history says he was crucified on this kind of cross where the upright beam has a cross beam sitting on the top like a capital "T."

(+) The Greek cross, which looks like the plus sign.

The oldest style cross is the crux simplex, which is a single upright beam (I) without a transom or crosspiece.

Let’s study the cross more closely.

  • The Prophecy of The Cross

There are two key Old Testament passages that point to the crucifixion of Christ on a cross. Turn with me to Deuteronomy 21:22-23 "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."

In fact, no one would know this verse has any connection to the crucifixion of Christ without Galatians 3:13 which says, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"


Psalm 22 describes the Christ being crucified on the cross and the results. The key verse is 16 "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet."

  • The Pain of The Cross

A person crucified in Jesus' day was first of all scourged (beaten with a whip consisting of thongs with pieces of metal or bone attached to the end) or at least flogged until the blood flowed. After the beating, the victim was forced to bear the crossbeam to the execution site in order to signify that life was already over and to break the will to live. A tablet detailing the crime(s) was often placed around the criminal's neck and then fastened to the cross. At the site the prisoner was often tied (the normal method) or nailed (if a quicker death was desired) to the crossbeam. The nail would be driven through at the base of the palm of the hand. The beam with the body was then lifted and tied to the already affixed upright pole. Pins or a small wooden block were placed halfway up to provide a seat for the body lest the nails tear open the wounds or the ropes force the arms from their sockets. Finally the feet were tied or nailed to the post. Death was slow and hideously painful and caused by the loss of blood circulation and coronary failure. Often the soldiers would break the victims legs with a club, causing massive shock, the inability to push up their body to get a breath. This hastened death.

But why? That brings us to our next point…

  • The Purpose of The Cross

What was the purpose of the Cross of Christ? Why did Christ choose to die such a heinous death? 1 Peter 2:24 gives us the answer, "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." Turn to Colossians 2:13-14 "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"

Let me explain our situation more in depth. Before we are saved we were the enemies of God and that’s a bad position to be in! But it is even worse than that. We are completely powerless to change our enemy status with God because our sins make that impossible. But God in His mercy had an answer. He sent Christ to pay for our sins by dying on the cross. Turn to Ephesians 2:12-17. This will help us to better understand the purpose of the cross. "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh."

There is another passage that explains the purpose of the cross. Colossians 1:19-22 "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:" The purpose of the cross is that we might have peace with God.

  • The Power of The Cross

1 Corinthians 1:18-24 "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."

The message of the Cross of Christ is powerful! I cannot say it any better that the Apostle Paul said it, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God… it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe…we preach Christ crucified."

  • The Pattern of The Cross

I told you at the beginning of this message that the cross is a symbol of death. It is a symbol of the atoning death of Jesus Christ. But it is also a symbol of death for the Christian. Paul told the Colossians Christians "For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3. What does that mean? It means that our sin nature has been crucified (Romans 6:6). That means that we can live a life of victory over sin. Galatians 5:24 says, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." The Christian’s focus in on the cross of Christ and serving Him and not on the world. Galatians 6:14 "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said it this way, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Don’t let the cross become mundane. It must never become just an ornament or a beautiful piece of jewelry. We must always remember the pain of the cross. Christ suffered there for us. We must always remember the purpose of the cross. Christ paid for our sins that we might have peace with God. We must always remember the power of the cross. It is the power of God unto salvation. We must always remember the pattern of the cross. We are crucified with Christ.


Please click here for the Most Important Message of the Bible Concerning You. "
Is any of the following a blessing to you today?
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
Matthew 24:3

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."

1 Corinthians 2:9

Free Literature Packet
Click here for a free literature packet about God's way to eternal life by providing your name and complete mailing address.
First Baptist Church of Oak Creek

10550 S. Howell Ave. - Oak Creek, WI 53154

Phone: 414-762-7575

Pastor: David L. Brown, Ph.D.

WebSite PageViews
Track visitors of website


Copyright © 2012 - 2015 First Baptist Church of Oak Creek - All Rights Reserved Worldwide.