The Real Meaning of The Cross: Billy Graham (Transcript)

Full text of renowned evangelist Billy Graham’s sermon titled ‘The Real Meaning of The Cross’ which was delivered in Hartford, Connecticut in the year 1985.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Billy Graham – Evangelist

One of the television networks ran a series of five programs on the early days of Christianity. And they included the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. One of the most graphic pictures I have ever seen.

And among all the emblems of the world, none is admired, glorified and worshiped as the cross. It was the instrument of Christ’s suffering and death. And it’s also the instrument of our salvation.

HISTORY OF THE CROSS

The history of the cross is very interesting. Because it goes back to India, it goes back to China, long before Christ ever came. And the victim, as you know, was fastened to the cross by cords, or his hands were nailed and he was left to die. And the heat of the sun, the pull of his body, and the torture that he’d had before he was on the cross, it took sometimes, two and three days, and sometimes a week for a person to die on a cross.

The most terrible, the most awful, the most painful way to die that we can imagine.

But by the time of Constantine, in the fourth century, and he had become a Christian or a professing Christian, as an instrument of torture it had been abolished. And later Christian nations started to use the cross as a symbol of Christianity. It was embossed upon their chariots, upon whatever they had. And the cross became the symbol of everything that Christianity stood for.

And through such organizations as the Red Cross, it’s become an international sign of goodwill and help to other people.

Hebrews, the sixth chapter, it says,

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Hebrews 6:4-6: ‘For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance; seeing that they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to open shame.’

Every time the gospel is proclaimed, those who hear the message and receive Christ as Savior, come by the way of the cross. But if you neglect or refuse God’s offer of love and mercy from the cross, you help crucify Jesus Christ.

That’s the reason it’s wrong to say that the Jews crucified Christ as Christians said especially in the middle ages, and they used to – tried to make Jews converts at the end of a sword, or point a gun at their head, or a knife at their throat to try to make them converted, because they said they were Christ killers.

They did not kill Christ. You know who killed Christ? All of us. We all had a part in His death. Because His death was planned before the foundation of the world, because of sin.

And the Bible says, “we’ve all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

FOUR DIMENSIONS OF THE CROSS

There are four dimensions of the cross that I think about when I talk about it.

I think about the BREADTH OF THE CROSS. The love of Christ is manifested in the cross of Christ, that includes everybody. God’s love extends to Africa, to Asia, to Latin America, to Russia, to China, to America, to Canada, to the whole world. It includes you, whoever you are, whatever your religion or if you have no religion. God loves you.

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