When you kneel at the cross, you will not hear an easy, soft word — not at first. Even though the cross is the only door to life, you are going to hear about death — death to every sin.
At the cross, you face the crisis of your life and that is what is missing in so many churches today. The preaching of the cross brings about a crisis of sin, of self-will. It will speak to you with loving but firm words about the consequences of continuing in your sin: “Deny yourself. Embrace the death of the cross. Follow me!”
Repentance means more than saying, “Lord, I am wrong.” It also means saying, “Lord, you are right!” It is a place of recognition where you admit, “I cannot continue in my sin and have the Holy Ghost living in me. Lord, you are right about sin bringing death upon me and I realize that if I continue in it, it’s going to destroy my family and me.”
The glorious truth of the gospel is that if we die with Jesus, then we also come into the glory of his resurrection and into newness of life. His cross is our cross, his death is our death, and his resurrection is our resurrection, through our identification and union with him. That is the real cross we bear. Yet, this is the cross that many so-called ministers of the gospel have done away with. The real cross is not about lovely words describing our Savior’s suffering and bleeding on Calvary. No, the true meaning of the cross is that Jesus bled and died to bring our sin-sick souls into glorious liberty and freedom — to break every chain of sin that binds us.
Jesus comes to us and says, “Take my hand and follow me — into my death, my burial, my resurrection. Look at the cross and embrace it. Cling to my victory!” Thank God, you can have Jesus’ victory and power in your life!