At the Cross
January 4, 2015 AM
Text: Matthew 27:33-50
Let us never sanitize or romanticize the story of the cross. Jesus’ on the cross suffered immense and agonizing pain. He felt the pain, the humiliation, and the separation from God on the cross. Moreover the story of the cross is more than suffering; it is the gospel of Christ (1 Cor 15:1-4). The preaching of the cross is the power of God to us who are being saved (1 Cor 1:18; Rom 1:16-18). When you and I come to be “at the cross,” let us come to fully comprehend what really happened at the cross.
Number one: according to the eternal purpose of God, His great love for mankind was finally manifested. The cross is “how” and “how much” God so loved the world (John 3:16). The one act of dying on the cross serves for all humanity and for all time as the ultimate manifestation of the love of God for mankind (1 John 4:9-10). “Why did my Savior come to earth and to the humble go?” It was because He loved me so! If you consider all other possible alternatives to make possible the forgiveness of sins, only what Jesus did would and could work. So then, in the ultimate act of a perfect love for man, God gave the only sacrifice that could be a propitiation for our sins –He gave His Son.
Secondly, at the cross, the old Law of Moses was fulfilled. It was added because of transgressions until the seed should come (Gal 3:19). It served for the Jews as a tutor (schoolmaster) until Christ came (Gal 3:23-25). Unless the tutor was removed, faith could not come. No one could be a child of God through faith and baptism until the old law was taken away (Gal 3:23-27). So Jesus came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Mt 5:17-18). Christ is the end of the law (Rom 10:4). The cross of Christ removed the binding of the old law (Col 2:13-14). For this reason men today do not live under the Law of Moses.
Thirdly, Christ has reconciled all men into one body by the cross (Eph 2:11-17). Now in Christ Jesus we have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Eph 2:13). Both Jews and Gentiles were reconciled into one body, the church, by His death (Eph 2:16). It was a major change that His apostles what had kept the old law before preached the gospel to Gentiles.
Number four, at the cross, Jesus bought by His own blood His precious church (Acts 20:28). This is true in every sense that the word “church is used” - Universally, the individual Christian, and the local congregation. Speaking of Christ and the church (Eph 5:32), Christ loved the church and give Himself up for her (Eph 5:24-27). While Jesus died to save all men from the guilt of sins; it is those people whose sins He actually forgives that He adds to His church (Acts 2:47).
Number five, on the cross, Jesus accomplished the salvation of men and women. In Christ, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses (Eph 1:7). By the blood of the cross, peace has been made with God (Col 1:18-23). Apart from Christ, a man is sin is alienated from God. Reconciliation with God was accomplished at the cross.
Again, Jesus died to make men free from sin (Heb 2:9-10). There is only one reason why we do not have to die eternally for our sins --because “by the grace of God He tasted death for us.” At the cross we come in contact with the precious blood of the sinless and unblemished lamb of God (1 Pet 1:17-19). After Jesus died on the cross and the soldiers pierced His side, there came out blood and water (John 19:32-35). The blood and the water proved that Jesus was indeed dead. So when we speak of the cross, we speak also of the saving blood of Jesus. It is that blood of Christ which released us from our sins (Rev 1:5-6).
Alas ... and did my savior bleed and did my Sovereign die? Would he devote that sacred head for such a worm as I? The blessed answer is: Yes, He would and yes, He did!
So today, when the cross is preached, the question is “how do you respond to the preaching of the cross?” (1 Cor 1:18, 22-24). Are you called today by the cross of Christ? Do you see in it the great love of God? Do you see in the cross the only hope you have of salvation? Do you see in the cross the power of God and the wisdom of God? Are your willing to die to sin, be baptized into Christ Jesus’ death in baptism, and raised to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:1-5). Can you be thankful to God that you became obedient from the heart to the gospel) (Rom 6:17-18).
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Eph 1:7).
Will you come to the cross today?