The cross of Christ (Written 24 Nov 2017)
Insights - Mar 24, 2021 Author: Jeanette Green

The cross of Christ (Written 24 Nov 2017)

The cross tells of a God who is love; who loves us to death and into eternity.

Most rulers of this world live in luxury, want to be served, oppress their subjects, and seldom pardon someone’s debt.

Jesus left his throne, humbled himself, and became like us, born as a human being. He served his followers, instead of ruling over them. At the cross, He performed the ultimate sacrifice, when He died in our place and took our sin (mistakes, evil) on Him. Jesus became the murderer, prostitute, thief, adulterer, sinner. Jesus broke the power of death and was resurrected, three days after He was crucified. Through his sacrifice, He demolished the power of evil in this world. And so, we can now stand before Him blameless, washed clean by his blood.

When He saves us, we become spiritually alive and free from the hold of sin in our lives. The power of God, through the cross, radically changes us and enables us to be different from the world.

The love of God is a love that willingly sacrifices his own life and picks up a cross. The power of the cross is that we are enabled to willingly lay down our lives for others in return, and so overcome the world.

Why is the cross necessary?
God made everything, by his Word, out of nothing. He made us (humans), to be in relationship with Him.

We disobeyed God, giving birth to sin. And so, we died spiritually, became forever separated from God.

God gave us the law so that we can know that we are sinners and need to be saved. But we can't obey the whole law. None of our sacrifices can make us completely innocent from sin, and right with God again.

So, God became the sacrifice for sin, once and for all. He was born as a human being, suffered, and died on the cross. The sin and punishment of those destined to be saved, fell on Him, so that we who believe He is the son of God, can receive forgiveness and be brought back into relationship with Him.

What the cross accomplished

Salvation is a gift of grace. We cannot earn or accomplish it through our own efforts. By God’s grace, we are saved and become spiritually alive again (born of the Spirit). We become God’s children, share in Christ’s inheritance of heaven, and will rule with Christ in eternity.

Once we become born-again, the Holy Spirit changes us day-by-day, if we submit to God’s hand on our lives. In time, we bear fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. God’s goodness leads us to change our ways (repent) - His grace purifies us through testing by fire.

It is necessary to share in Christ’s suffering, to share in His glory. His love is a sacrificial love that shares everything. Therefore He makes us Holy so that we can be in union with Him forever.

As much as we reflect on the cross of Christ, we cannot make sense of it, intellectually. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit, can we gain some understanding of God’s ways – His ways that are so different from ours.

The Holy Spirit helps us to discover God’s power that is within the cross of Christ. And as we get glimpses of that power, we stop fighting, and instead embrace the cross we must daily pick up to follow after Jesus.

For the message about Christ's death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God's power.
(1Co 1:18 )

From that time on Jesus began to say plainly to his disciples, "I must go to Jerusalem and suffer much from the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. I will be put to death, but three days later I will be raised to life." Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. "God forbid it, Lord!" he said. "That must never happen to you!" Jesus turned around and said to Peter, "Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don't come from God, but from human nature."
(Mat 16:21-23)

The LORD says, "It was my will that he should suffer; his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. And so he will see his descendants; he will live a long life, and through him my purpose will succeed. After a life of suffering, he will again have joy; he will know that he did not suffer in vain. My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment of many and for his sake I will forgive them. And so I will give him a place of honor, a place among the great and powerful. He willingly gave his life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of many sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven."
(Isa 53:10-12)

I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!"
(Joh 16:33)

Father God, I pray that the Holy Spirit will give us wisdom, and help us grow in understanding of your ways. Help us to embrace the cross, and in so doing reap Your power in our lives. We thank You, Lord, that those who the Son has set free, will be free, indeed. I thank you for opening up continuous revelation about the cross of Christ in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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