Terrible and Wonderful Cross!

28 05 2016

Until a person encounters Jesus Christ for the first time, he or she is already in a condition of spiritual death. He is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:2), and a child of wrath by nature (Eph. 2:3).   The message of the cross carries the stench of death (2 Cor. 2:16) and seems to be no more than foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18).

The only good news is that Another has died in order to bring deliverance from the eternal spiritual death of the unbeliever. This sinless Savior has surrendered Himself to the will of God and sacrificed His life at Golgotha, taking upon Himself the sin of the whole world, that all may become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21). The God of all grace has initiated an earthly event with eternal benefits.

Our salvation is not of our choosing but of God’s gracious enabling our hearts to believe. Our salvation is not for us to store away for our own benefit alone, but brings with it a calling to align ourselves with God’s saving purpose in the world.

In His death, Jesus abolished the finality of death, for in dying He paid the penalty which demanded the sentence of eternal death. In overcoming His own death through resurrection, Jesus reordered human destiny. Instead of death being our only prospect, Jesus brought eternal life as a gift bought by the gospel – His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

We must not allow our familiarity with this truth to dull our wonder of it. The cross stands alone as the only claim of eternal life based on complete pardon of the sin that offends a holy God. All other religions which attempt to answer the colossal questions of origins and purpose are mere variations on the theme of greater effort and devotion.

Only the gospel therefore reaches out in ga crossrace to pardon sin while honoring the demands of justice. Only the gospel satisfies the justice of God by placing on the righteous Son of God all the sins of the whole world, inflicting on Him its punishment, allowing the Judge to justly declare righteous all who place their trust in the substitution offered by Jesus. And only the gospel grants the gift of eternal life to forgiven sinners who, in Christ, are qualified to live forever in the light of God’s presence.

Only eternity will reveal what an unimaginable gift this is. For now, we must bow our hearts in adoration of the God who shows such mercy, and the Savior who gave Himself up that we might be restored back to fellowship with the God who loves us.Save

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