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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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THE MEANING OF THE CROSS

Samuel A CainFor the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 ESV)

When you look at the Cross, what do you see? The Cross is the center of the history of man. The Cross is irrefutable proof of God’s love for us. Sinclair Ferguson writes, “When Paul preached ‘the cross’ he preached a message which explained that this instrument of rejection had been used by God as His instrument of reconciliation. Man’s means of bringing death to Jesus was God’s means to bring life to the world. Man’s symbol of rejecting Christ was God’s symbol of forgiveness for man. This is why Paul boasted about the Cross!”

On the cross, Christ suffered the punitive judgment of God that should have been ours to endure. Jesus Christ made an all-sufficient, redemptive sacrifice for his people’s sins. He appeased God’s wrath by recompensing those sins to remove them from God’s sight. By the cross of Christ, atonement was made for our sin and righteousness was imputed to the sinner.

Jesus died on the Cross to take our sin and death in order to give us righteousness and life. The death of Jesus on the Cross sets aside our sins.  In theological terms, this is called “substitutionary atonement.” God’s mercy is part of His righteous character. God does not ignore sins, but takes care of them in Jesus Christ. Sin has consequences, and Jesus suffered the penalties on our behalf. The cross was an instrument of God’s love as well as His justice.

Therefore, Jesus died on the Cross to satisfy God’s justice and to redeem His own children. He died on the Cross to justify believers and to reconcile all of those who will believe in Him to His Father. If there is no Cross, there is no forgiveness of sin; there is no salvation; no relief from guilt; no peace of mind; no eternal life with Jesus Christ in heaven. In closing, consider these words from the Apostle Peter:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)

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  1. Reblogged this on My Delight and My Counsellors.

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