Tuesday, March 14, 2006

An Early Look at the Cross

I know we have just entered the Lenten season. This is something that is more obvious than most years because of all the folks from New Orleans who are still living in the Houston area were I live. But it is never to early to take a look toward the cross and the Easter season.

(1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; (4) and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; (5) and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (6) For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. (8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath {of God} through Him. (10) For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (11) And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:1-11 NASB)

This passage speaks to me about the cross and Jesus Christ's death and His ultimate resurrection.

First, it tells me that the cross and His death was necessary. Verse 8 indicates that while I was still sinful and wholly unworthy, He died for me. He substituted His life for mine. He had to die for me to live. It was necessary for someone to be the ultimate and the last sacrifice. Hebrews 9:22 says, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

Second, it tells me that the cross and His death was costly. Romans 8:32 says, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” Remember in the Old Testament where God provided the ram caught in the thicket for Abraham to use as a sacrifice. The knife was in his hand and Isaac was on the altar. But God spared Abraham from having to make the ultimate sacrifice of his own son when he provided the ram. But my penalty of sin, my sacrifice was paid for with God's own Son. And that was a costly sacrifice for God to make when He allowed His Son to die on that cruel cross.

Third, it tells me that the cross and His death was victorious! Jesus Christ “Paid in Full” the debt of sin that I owed. On the cross He said, “it is finished.” John 19:30 says “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” Since He paid the debt, I no longer have to live under the debt and burden of sin. An old gospel song said the the sin was “buried in the deepest sea.” It goes on to say in that old song that because of all that Jesus Christ did, “I shall live eternally. Praise God! My sins are G-O-N-E, gone!”

In light of all that Jesus Christ did for me, what else can I do but follow Him?


  1. Anonymous9:58 PM

    Those are some powerful verses and give us all hope. You know that I'm more familiar with the KJV

  2. The cross is the deciding factor for me. What happened on the cross solidifies the Truth and Uniqueness of Christianity.
    When the Passion of the Christ came out, the question arose, how could a Loving God let such a terrible thing happen to His own son. And as I prayed for my sons who were going through serious crisis of their own, I wondered how could I trust God to help my sons when he let such things happen to his own. But then I realized, it was not so much a Father and Son thing that happened on calvary. It was God Himself going through that ordeal for his children, for all of his creation. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were present on that Hill, as One.

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  4. Maryellen,

    Your comment reminds me of the FFH song, "It's Still the Cross."