It's tempting to see the cross as the 'basic stuff' of Christianity. In order to become a Christian we need to hear the message of the cross, but once we've heard and trusted it, we often feel like we need to move on to practical living applications. That's true (we need to be growing, learning and maturing in our faith), but we must never lose sight of the cross.
This little book does a great job in reminding Christians of the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection. In just 99 pages, it explores Jesus' death as:
turning away God's anger
the way God justifies sinners
the unifying force in the Christian community
bringing forgiveness and cleansing
Often the resurrection gets pushed into the background as the focus seems to be on Jesus' death. John Chapman doesn't neglect the importance of what Jesus achieved in triumphing over sin, death, and the devil when He rose from the dead. The resurrection means:
Jesus is God's King forever
Jesus is the judge of all people
Jesus' sacrifice was full, perfect and sufficient
Our fear of death is removed
We too will have resurrection bodies
Jesus alone can take us through death to life eternal
I could hardly believe all of this is covered in such a thin book! It is highly readable and has prayers at the end of each chapter to encourage readers to thank God for all He has accomplished for us.
John Chapman was a gifted evangelist (who passed away when I was in the middle of reading this book), but I feel this is a book I would give to Christians to strengthen and reaffirm them in their faith.
It's not mind-blowing, but it will remind you of the core truths of the Christian faith. Read it slowly and reflect. My prayer is that you and I will never lose sight of the cross.
This book was reviewed for the Matthias Media Free For Bloggers programme.
It is available from the Matthias Media Australian online store here.
There is also a US store here.