The Death of Jesus Christ on the Cross
Here is the centerpiece of Christianity. Here is the crux of the Gospel. Here is the turning point of history. Here, the battle against sin and Satan was won. Faithful Christians do not relegate Christ’s overcoming the world (Jn 16:33), to remembrance, just one day each year. We preach it all day, every day. It’s that important.
On no other day in history and in no other place, involving no other person, were the sins of the whole world (1 Jn 2:2) dealt with, permanently. A one time, once for all His people (Rom 6:10; Heb 7:27; 9:12; 10:10; 1 Pet 3:18) sacrifice was made by Jesus, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29), that is, elect Jews and Gentiles from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9; 7:9).
The sinless Son of God (Heb 4:15) laid down His life for His sheep (Jn 10:11, 15). He paid for the sins of His people, His church, by bearing the punishment for our sins, in His body on the Cross (1 Pet 2:24). He gave himself up for His beloved church (Eph 5:23, 25), even to die on a Cross for His bride, the Israel of God (Is 49:6; Gal 6:16).
The perfectly righteous One of God became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21). He took our place, and He died in our stead, and for our everlasting benefit. This is called “substitutionary atonement” (Lev 16; Is 53). Jesus was our substitute sacrifice, offered to God, in full payment of our sins.
This atonement for sin was exactly what was needed, for our being reconciled to God (Rom 5:10). God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:19). Here, too, “world” means elect souls from every nation, as seen in heavenly worship, by those around the throne of God and the Lamb (Rev 5:9; 7:9).
Christ Jesus has become the Mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5) because He is the God/Man, who has accomplished redemption, for His now reconciled people (Lk 1:69). There is no wrath from God against them because on the Cross, Jesus became the propitiation for our sins (Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 4:10). This also means there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1).
Each soul, conceived and born of a woman, is born into Adam and his original sin (Rom 5:12). Depending on the will of God (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:16), the mercy of God (Rom 9:15), and the grace of God (Eph 2:8–9), granted by God sending His Spirit (Jn 14:26; 15:26; Rom 5:5) — one is either saved or not saved.
Salvation belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1). This means it is God’s choice who belongs to Christ (1 Cor 3:23), for it is by His doing that you are in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:30)…or not. Some do not belong to the Good Shepherd of His sheep (Jn 10:26). These are the reprobate — not given the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:15, 23). It is the indwelling Spirit that distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11, 15, 23; 1 Jn 3:1, 10).
The Holy Spirit applies the precious blood of Christ to the elect, redeemed by baptizing them (Mt 3:11; Acts 1:5; 2:38; 10:47). In this, those chosen of God (1 Pet 2:9), born dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1), are made alive, spiritually (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13). These are born again of God, by the Spirit (1 Pet 1:3), who now permanently indwells them, as Christ in them, the hope of glory (Col 1:27).
Spirit-baptism is the application of the blood of Christ that cancels the new believer’s debt of sin (Col 2:14). Freed from obligations to perform the requirements of the Law, to obtain righteousness, which no man had the ability to perform (except Jesus Christ), the life of the Christian is one of faith in Christ (Gal 2:20).
Freed from serving sin, and now living under the reign of grace (Rom 5:21), the Christian is free to serve the Lord, in labors of love (1 Thess 1:3), as unto the Lord. Being led by the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14; Gal 5:18), Christian good works are actually the will of God and the work of God (Phil 2:13). God is glorified, as the good works, prepared beforehand for the saint, are accomplished by the Spirit (Ps 57:2; 138:8; Eph 2:10).
This remarkable transformation of a sinner into a saint, heart (Ezek 36:26) and mind (Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 2:16), required the crucifixion where Christ died for the ungodly (Rom 5:6), the just for the unjust, to bring us to God (1 Pet 3:18). This He will finish at His second coming (1 Thess 5:23), bringing the souls of those who died with Him (Rom 6:4; Phil 1:23), to be conjoined with glorified bodies, resurrected from the dead (Jn 5:25; 1 Cor 15).
The presentation of the bride He came to save, will find her, holy and blameless before the Father (Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col 1:22; 1 Thess 5:23). Dressed in white robes (Rev 6:11; 7:9, 13, 14), having been washed with the blood of Christ, the meaning is purity, by the only thing that can wash away our sins, that is, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Our hope is that God will add blessing and understanding to the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ, on the Cross, for His chosen people (1 Pet 2:9). Jesus said, “If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto myself (Jn 12:32).” And the even better news is that He will lose none of them (Jn 10:28–29). No person can draw near to God in Christ by his or her own will (Jn 1:12–13) or ability (Rom 8:7), but what is impossible apart from Christ (Jn 15:5), is possible with the Father drawing His elect to Christ on the Cross (Jn 6:44).
Friend, if God is calling you to come to Jesus Christ for forgiveness (Rom 4:7; Col 1:14; Heb 10:18), then go to Him, who saves His people from their sins (Mt 1:21), and who is able to keep them from stumbling. In love, Jesus Christ has suffered and sacrificed Himself, so that His beloved would stand in His glorious presence, blameless and with great joy (Jude 1:24)…forever.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 28, 2022