“Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to His own way; and the LORD has laid con Him the iniquity of us all” – Isaiah 53:4-6 NIV.
30th March, 2018 is Good Friday, the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. On that day, over two thousand years ago, Jesus was crucified in a very cruel way. It was a painful death but it was also dramatic, symbolic and fulfillment of prophecy. On that day darkness covered the earth for three hours! And the curtain that separated the Holy Place from the rest of the Temple was torn into two, from top to bottom so that we could have complete access to God. Jesus by His suffering on the cross, bridged the gap between us and the Holy God.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF HIS DEATH AND WHAT DOES IT MANIFEST?
- The Cross Manifests God’s Love: But God demonstrated His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us – Romans 5:8 (NIV)
- The Cross Manifests God’s Justice:
“But now God has shown us a different way of being right in His sight – not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty (we are justified). He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when He did not punish those who sinned in former times. And He is entirely fair and just in this present time when He declares sinners to be right in His sight because they believe in Jesus” – Romans 3:21-26 (NLT)
- The Cross Manifests the Wisdom and Power of God:
“I know very well how foolish the message of the cross sounds to those who are on the road to destruction. But we who are being saved recognize this message as the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy human wisdom and discard their most brilliant ideas.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made them all look foolish and has shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. Since God in His wisdom saw to it that the world would never find Him through human wisdom, He has used our foolish preaching to save to save all who believe. God’s way seems foolish to the Jews because they want a sign from heaven to prove it is true. And it is foolish to the Greeks because they believe only what agrees with their own wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. This “foolish’ plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength” – 1 Cor. 1:18 -25 (NLT)
- The Cross Manifests the Victory of God Over the Forces of Evil:
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross of Christ” – Col. 2:13-15; Heb. 14:15; 2 Tim. 1:10 (NLT)
WHAT DID THE CROSS ACHIEVE?
- The Cross Achieved Forgiveness of Sins.
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then god made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins” – Col. 2:13 (NLT)
“He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised from the dead to make us right with God” – Romans 4:25 (NLT)
- The Cross Achieved Justification, Peace with God and Access into God’s Grace:
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory” – Romans 5:1-3 (NLT)
- Achieved Reconciliation between God and Man and Gives Man the Ministry of
“All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task of reconciling people to Him” – 2 Cor. 5:18 (NLT)
- The Cross Achieved for Jesus the Name above all Names at which Every Knee Bow
and Tongue Should Confess that Jesus is Lord.
“And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised Him up to the heights of heaven and gave Him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father – Phil. 2:9-11 (NLT)
HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?
- Celebrate the feast not with old yeast of malice and wickedness but with bread without yeast: sincerity and truth.
“Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. So let us celebrate the festival, not by eating the old bread of wickedness and evil, but by eating the new bread of purity and truth”– 1 Cor. 5:7b-8 (NLT)
- Hold Firm Faith and Approach the Throne of Grace with Confidence.
“That is why we have a great High priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to Him and never stop trusting Him. This High Priest of ours understands our weakness, for He faced all of the same temptations we do, yet He did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it” – Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)
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