When you think of the cross, what comes to mind?
Billy Graham once encouraged Christians to truly ponder the structure used for capital punishment. Consider the four dimensions, he urged. Think on the breadth, length, height and depth of Christ’s love for you.
“Among all the emblems of the world none is admired, glorified and worshipped as the cross,” Graham once said during a 1985 message in Hartford, Connecticut. “It was the instrument of Christ’s suffering and death. And it’s also the instrument of our salvation.”
Graham’s timeless message rings true today. Consider the following four dimensions of the cross:
Jesus’ arms stretched wide on the cross, displaying His love for every single human being God created. “[God’s love] includes you, whoever you are. Whatever your religion or if you have no religion,” Graham said during the 1985 sermon. “God loves you, and He says from the cross, ‘I love you.’”
God’s love extends from eternity to eternity, from everlasting to everlasting. It cannot be measured. “If you build a shed for garden tools, you can measure the lumber with a ruler. But how can you measure the end-to-end of God’s love in the cross?” Graham asked. “[The Bible says] that, ‘God’s love surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). There’s no way that our finite minds can even begin to understand the love of God that would give His Son on the cross to die for you. Because you and I deserve that death. We deserved hell and judgment.”
The height of the cross extends to the very throne of God. “It doesn’t matter how high heaven is,” Graham said. “Through the cross, God draws all [people] to Him, and you have to make a decision about Jesus Christ.
“Heaven is out there somewhere. We don’t know exactly where. … Heaven is going to be a glorious place, and you cannot go beyond God’s love even in heaven.”
“You can fall to the very bottomless pit of sin and degradation. You can live like an animal,” Graham said. “You can be a murderer. You can be anything. But you can’t get beyond the love of God. The cross covers to the very gates of hell.
“The Bible says, ‘Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God’ (Romans 11:33). It can draw every sinner up to the exalted height of heaven. And, ‘If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto Me’ (John 12:32), said Jesus.”