Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Message of the Cross: What's in it for me (part 1)

Over the last two posts we saw how the cross testifies against us that we will never be good enough and we will never be wise enough to find our way to God. God is too high above us and we cannot ascend to find God because the distance is too great. However, the good news of the cross is that what we could not do ourselves, God did for us in sending His Son to live and die upon a cross. We could not ascend to God so He descended to us.
"For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:3-4)
In this post we want to look at what God appropriated for us through His death on the cross.

"But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." (Isaiah 53:5-6)
All of us have been born in sin and we continue to live our lives in sin. Our sin stain has separated us from God. We are sinful and He is holy. The question is, how can unrighteous man be reconciled to a righteous and holy God? We have tried to keep the law but failed. Even on our best days, we fall far short. "For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment." (Isaiah 64:6) While God loves us and wants us to be reconciled to Him, He is also a God of justice and His justice demands that our issue of sin be dealt with. The penalty for our sin is death. "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) God can not simply wink at our sins, they have to be dealt with and paid in full. So God came to Earth Himself in the person of His Son and died in our place that the penalty of our sin might be paid and we set free to be reconciled back to God. "But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) Jesus death on the cross appeased God's justice and set us free from the condemnation that was against us. Jesus became the solution to our sin problem, "He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:26) The message of the cross, for us, is a message of forgiveness.


"And by His scourging we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
Jesus' death on the cross not only paid for our forgiveness but also made provision for our healing. His scourging and torment, which so marred His body to the point that He was almost unrecognizable, purchased for us healing and wholeness in our bodies; His brokenness for our wholeness. There is a lot that can be said about healing and we certainly live in the time between what was and what should be, but we should never loose faith or stop contending for healing. Jesus paved the way for our healing through the suffering He experienced as He was lead to and crucified on a cross. The message of the cross is, for us, a message of healing.

More to come. David Robison

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