You will never understand the message of the cross, or receive the benefits of salvation that come from the cross, until you first kneel at the cross and receive Jesus Christ as your personal saviour.
The story is told of a great preacher who was touring Italy. A friend told him to go to a certain village and see a painting of the crucifixion of Christ.
‘What is it like?’ he asked.
His friend said, ‘Never mind what it is like. I want you to see it. Please promise me you will.’
He replied, ‘I will.’ He went to the village and visited the chapel where the painting was.
The old caretaker said, ‘You’ve come to see the painting, haven’t you?’
He said, ‘Why, yes I have.’
The caretaker responded, ‘Follow me.’
The great preacher was not prepared for what he was about to see. Instead of a beautiful masterpiece, the painting seemed all out of proportion and didn’t make sense. ‘I don’t understand this painting,’ he said.
The caretaker replied, ‘Come closer.’ He did. The caretaker said, ‘Get lower.’ He did.
Finally, as he was kneeling at the foot of the cross, he looked up and saw the power and beauty of the painting and was reduced to tears. It’s only when you lay aside your pride, your preconceived notions, and your intellectual approach, and humble yourself, that the message of the cross transforms you.
‘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 NKJV)