Monday, March 10, 2008

3-9-08 AM - The Cross of Christ

I. GOD…..

1. Is loving – He created mankind for friendship and fellowship

But… 2. Is also Holy – absolutely perfect and doesn’t permit sin into His presences. When there is sin, there is separation from God.

And…3. Is just.. He demands payment for sin/disobedience/rebellion. He cannot simply forgive sin or justice would not be served. Sin must be paid for..

Note: forgiveness is wonderful, but is it wonderful at the expense of justice? Example: Your child or grandchild abducted, abused, and killed by a person. The person is caught, no question that the right person is on trial, and when that person is found guilty, the judge states that he forgives him and instructs the family of the child to forgive him as well, and he is set free. Is that justice????

So… how cans we blend, and balance and fulfill love and holiness with justice?

The answer is the cross, ie. the death of Christ. That is the bridge between God and man. Christ paid the price – justice was fulfilled

II. The Cross…. is where mercy and lovingness are coupled with the fulfillment of justice

1. It is Historical – it really took place. It really happened. There are 39 ancient sources documenting the life and death of Jesus Christ.

2. It is central to our faith. I Cor. 15:3 & 4, Act 2:22 & 23, Acts 2:26 There are 175 direct references to His death in the New Testament.

If there is no cross and no resurrection, then Christianity is just another idea or philosophy or religion. It has no foundation without the cross. The term “the blood” is making reference to His death. That’s why it is important NOT to remove “the blood” from the text. Rom.5:9 “Since we have now been justified by His blood,……”, Eph. 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through his blood,……”, Matt. 26:28 ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out…..”

3. It is effectual (it produced, accomplished a purpose) Christ’s death accomplished something – He satisfied the debt, then mercy and justice could work together.

4. It is substitutional - Christ didn’t merely suffer and die for us.. He bore our sins. Our sins were transferred to His body. I Pet. 2:24 – “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree,…” He was our scapegoat. Gal.3:13 “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us……”

5. It is universal in scope. Christ died for ALL the sins of ALL mankind. I John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

6. It is personal in application. The cross is the most powerful event in history, but each one must make the choice to accept and embrace what the cross has accomplished.

7. It has potential. The cross has the potential for salvation but we must “cross the bridge” to receive reconciliation, cleansing, etc.

Matt. 7a;21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,…… then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers’”


#1. Propitiation – an appeasing, satisfying. Example: Satisfying a debt. Paying a bill. I John 4:10 “This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

#2. Forgiveness Eph. 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of sins, …” No MERCY can operate with out conflicting with justice! Justice and mercy/grace and truth

#3. Cleansing I John 1:7”………and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” I Cor. 6:9-11 “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? ……But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified…..”

#4. Ransom/Redemption – to buy back or purchase from. I Pet. 1:18 & 19 “For you know that it was not with perishable things ……that you were receemed, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect….” We were bought back from Satan. We don’t belong to him because we’ve been redeemed. BUT, we can’t get to God without the cross.

What is the point of #1, 2, and 3 if we are still OWNED by sin/Satan? Heb. 2:14 & 15 “……so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is the devil - ……..”

#5. Reconciliation Col. 1:19 & 20 – “…..and through Him to reconcile to himself all things,… making peace through his blood shed on the cross.”

This is the bridge illustration. God provided the means to get to Him. I Pet. 3:18 “For Christ died for sins, once for all, ….. to bring you to God. …” John 12:32 & 33 “”But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself…..” Eph. 2:12 & 13 “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ,……..without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you …..have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

#6. Salvation. This is a broad umbrella term, but, refers to the saving of your soul. John 3:14 – 17 “….that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

The point is: the cross is EFFECTUAL (#3) – it accomplishes much

But it is also SUBSTITUTIONAL (#4)


#1. Remember – the Resurrection was preceded by the cross. Why make a point to be in church to celebrate Easter Sunday morning when you haven’t accepted the cross and what it accomplished for your life.

#2. Renew – your vows that were made when you were saved. Rededicate and recommit to that which you’ve already committed to.

#3. Receive – If you haven’t already done so, and you know you should, accept Christ, embrace Him, and make Him Lord.

#4. Keep the cross central. Christianity without the cross is like a car without the motor. It may have all the other “stuff” but it won’t go,

#5, Keep it (the cross) simple. Rev. 1:5b “To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood”

#6. Keep it (the cross) handy. I Pet. 3:15 “…..Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…..”

The answer is: Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead to take my place and give me eternal life with Him in heaven.

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