Christian author Erwin Lutzer writes about meeting a “thirty-something” lady during a flight. He noticed she was wearing a cross on her necklace so he commented, “We really do have a wonderful Savior don’t we?” The lady rolled her eyes, and said that she “understood” the cross differently than he did. Then she showed him two other religious symbols that were dangling behind her cross. “I’m in social work.” She explained. “The people I work with find God in different ways. Christianity is just one way to the divine.” (Cries from the Cross; Chicago: Moody Press, 2002, 14-15).
Obviously, the cross is misunderstood, because it can never be united with other religions, philosophies, or human ideas. It stands alone. The message of the cross is offensive and despised by a culture that is tolerant of everything except the truth. The truth is that we are sinners, unable to reconcile ourselves to God. Our sin pays wages: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23; running up a debt only the shed blood of Christ on the cross can cover
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins - Matthew 26:28...Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many - Hebrews 9:28...For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. - 1 Timothy 2:5-6.
The central message of Christianity is the cross. The cross is the point to which all roads in the past converge and roads to the future diverge. The Old Testament writers prophesied about the cross and the New Testament Christians proclaimed the cross! The cross is evidence of God’s holiness and unfathomable love for us while also revealing our uncleanness. The message of the cross is the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:17).
Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 1 Peter 1:19-21 (cf. Isaiah 53:10)
The cross is so much more than a symbol. It is how the perfect, sinless Son of God was offered up, completing the foreordained plan of redemption .