In my last post I talked about our call as believers to crucify our old sinful nature. That means going to the cross. Why does the cross have such a repulsive connotation to so many Christians? It’s almost like we avoid talking about it.
The resurrection of Christ is exciting. We love to hear about the return of the Lord. But the cross…
I think that we really don’t understand the true impact of the cross of Christ. Listen to this verse and think about the events that took place.
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
What exactly happened on the cross!!? What kind of power was released? It’s beyond human comprehension. That day forever divided history and caused ripples throughout time and space. We need the Holy Spirit to make real to us the depth and importance of this event.
The apostle Paul gives us some insight into what happened that day.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
It’s important that we understand the significance of the cross. What happened there had its roots in the Old Testament. In the above passage, Paul quotes a verse from the book of Deuteronomy. It says, in effect, that anyone who is hung upon a tree is under God’s curse.
This is imperative for us to understand. The cross speaks of a curse. This is a foundational principle.
But there’s a problem here. Jesus Christ wasn’t under a curse.
He was the only begotten Son of God – born without sin. More than that, He lived a sinless life. There was never a point where He missed the mark and needed to repent of anything. Christ was totally perfect in all His ways.
The truth is that it wasn’t His curse. The curse belonged to us. Look at a verse just before the one quoted above.
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
We were already under a curse because of our sin. This was the curse that needed to be dealt with. The cross was the place where it all came together.
I want to continue talking about what happen on the cross for a few posts. I think that it will help us to trust God to a greater degree.
Question: How does the work of Christ on the cross figure into your everyday life as a believer?
© Nick Zaccardi 2014