Eighth, it's the blood of cleansing: "If we walk in the light, as [God] is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. That means that from now on if you sin, and confess that sin and turn from it, the blood will continue to cleanse. Without that blood, the sin would be held accountable to us. Thank God that Jesus died on the cross for us!
The cross of Christ is an offense because it sets forth an ideal of life. The life that we can live here--with joy, and peace, and satisfaction, and meaning--is brought about because Jesus Christ died on the cross. Jesus said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Christ demands that we live a life of self-crucifixion. We crucify the selfish desires. We crucify the lusts and the greed's and the hate and the jealousy--and all these kinds of things that are in all of our lives. God forgives us. Many of us chafe at the restraint of a life like that of Christ. We don't want to give up what we know his cross condemns.
We look out on our world, and we see hunger, we see poverty, we see social injustice. And our hearts cry out. But we refuse to take up our cross and follow Jesus, so we don't do anything about it. We don't say anything about it. We don't give anything to those organizations that are trying to do something. We just say, "Well, it can't be helped."
Jesus said that we must bear the cross. When we are at school, when we are at work, when we are at home, we are to take a stand for Christ--even though people may laugh at us and persecute us. That is our cross. Our cross is not some disease that we may get. Our cross is not some automobile accident that we may have. Our cross is not some bad thing that may happen to us or to our families. Our cross is to identify with Christ and to take a stand for him.
Many of us want the blessings of Christianity without accepting the toil and the sacrifice that are involved. The offense of the cross often reaches a point of opposition. The Scripture says that they will "deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake.