THE CROSS OF CHRIST
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:
for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree [cross]."
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished:
and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost [spirit]."
Jesus died on the Cross for us to pay our debt which was impossible for us to pay and
by His blood to have redemption and forgiveness of our sins.
"Τετέλεσται" = "It is finished"
In the New Testament, the Greek word for "it is finished" is "tetelestai" which means complete. Jesus meant that all the scriptures were fulfilled with His death. The word "tetelestai" was also written on receipts in New Testament times to show that a bill had been paid in full. The relationship between receipts and what Christ accomplished on the cross was clear to the apostle John. He used the Greek word "tetelestai" in his writings because for him, there was no doubt that Jesus Christ had died and paid in full for their sins.
When we celebrate Easter, it is appropriate for us to reflect on the importance of the death of Jesus on the cross. Do you ever ask yourself why Jesus suffered so much and died on the cross? The answer is simple — to pay for our sins. He suffered physically and emotionally. First, Christ suffered at the hands of his friends: Judas betrayed him, Peter denied Him, and all the disciples forsook Him. Second, He suffered at the hands of His enemies: they mocked Him, tortured Him, condemned Him, and crucified Him. Third, the deepest level of Christ's suffering was not at the hands of his friends or his enemies, but at the hands of God. I believe the twenty–seventh chapter of the gospel of Matthew is one that every Christian must frequently read to keep in his heart, mind, and soul the agony that Jesus went through. No one can imagine or describe the tragedy that happened on Calvary, where Jesus, the son of God, died for our sins.
Many ask who crucified Jesus. A good answer comes from Dr. Adrian Rogers, "Well, you say the Jews crucified Jesus. Well, let me remind you that his apostles were Jews, the disciples were Jews. Well, you say the Romans crucified Jesus. Ha, well, the Roman soldiers were carrying out orders. Well, you say uh, we crucified Jesus. Now, you're getting closer to the truth. The truth of the matter is that we all had a part in the crucifixion of Jesus. We sing that song, 'Were you there when they crucified my Lord?' and that's a good question to ask. When Dr. R. G. Lee went for the first time to the Holy Lands, he went to that place that so many people love to go, that place called Calvary. When he stood there, the person who was giving the lecture asked this question. 'Have any of you ever been here before?' and Dr. Lee put up his hand. 'Oh,' he said 'When were you here before?' Dr. Lee said, 'One thousand years ago. He was there, I was there, we were there because our sins crucified Jesus. Our hands slapped him, our spit was the spit that defiled his face, our sins were the nails that sealed him to that cross, and our hard hearts were the hammers that drove those nails." — lwf.org
According to the following verses, Jesus died on the Cross for us, to pay our debt, which was impossible for us to pay, and by His blood to have redemption and forgiveness of our sins.
"He [Jesus] humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:8)
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree [cross.]" (1 Peter 2:24a)
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." (Ephesians 1:7)
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)
When Jesus was crucified, only a few people that day understood the importance of his death. Some thought he was an innocent victim of political jealousy. Others saw Jesus as being justly punished for claiming to be the Messiah. The true meaning was prophesied centuries before by the prophet Isaiah that Jesus would give His life to save sinners. The cross is an emblem of Christianity and holds special meaning for every true believer. Whenever we see a cross, it reminds us that Christ died for us on Calvary.
In the twenty-seventh chapter of Matthew, we not only see who but more specifically, what crucified the Lord Jesus. On the cross, Christ gave His life to pay for my sins and yours, because He loves us. The question is: "Do you doubt God's love for you?" Have difficult circumstances caused you to wonder if He truly cares? Although the Lord may seem silent at this time, He reminds you of His love through the cross of Christ. The death of His Son is a constant reminder of His unconditional love for you.
by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.
I gave my life for You
because I love You. — Jesus
Jesus gave His life for you.
Will you give your heart to HIM?
"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24)
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." (John 19:30)
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree." (Galatians 3:13)
"Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Galatians 6:14)
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:8)
"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven." (Colossians 1:20)
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
Justice and mercy meet and they kiss at the cross!
The cross of Christ is the heart of God and reveals His love to us.
Jesus gave His life to save sinners like you and me!
• "The Cross of Jesus is the supreme evidence of the love of God."
"Study the cross for no other sake than God's sake, and you will be holy without knowing it."
"All heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, all hell is terribly afraid of it, while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning."
— Quotes by Evangelist and Teacher, Oswald Chambers
• "There are no crown wearers in heaven who are not cross bearers below." — Prince of Preachers," Charles Spurgeon
• "There is no health of the soul, no hope of eternal life, save in the cross." — Author, Thomas a Kempis
• "Jesus was crucified, not in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves." — Clergyman, George F. MacLeod
• "He came to pay a debt He didn't owe, because we owed a debt we couldn't pay." — Anonymous
• "The cross: God's way of uniting suffering with love." — Theologian and Philosopher, Georgia Harkness
• "The cross is the lightning rod of grace that short-circuits God's wrath to Christ so that only the light of His love remains for believers." — Pastor and Author, A. W. Tozer
• "God loves each of us as if there were only one of us." — Theologian and Philosopher, Augustine
• "We need men of the cross, with the message of the cross, bearing the marks of the cross." — Preacher, Revivalist and Author, Vance Vance Havner
The Cross of Christ is a constant reminder that God understands our suffering
and that He will give us the strength we need to finish the course!
Two thousand years ago,
all of humanity faced the judgment of God,
had sinned and were responsible
for their wrong actions.
God could have condemned and destroyed the world,
but when we were at our worst, Jesus gave His life to save us.
God gave us love rather than a lecture!
The Words of the Lord From the Cross
When the Lord of glory was crucified—
Before He bowed His head and died—
Seven times He spoke—let us all then hear,
As these blessed words fall upon our ear.
His cross was placed on Golgotha's hill—
He was fulfilling His Father's will,
As He took our place in judgment and death,
And suffered in the sinner's stead.
As they drove the nails through His feet and hands,
Was it justice that He from His God demands?
Nay, instead He beholds them in love and grace,
And thus He prayed for His enemies:
"Father, forgive them; for they know
not what they do."
Have these words, dear friend, ever reached you?
'Twas also for you that the Saviour prayed,
And the hand of just retribution stayed.
Two robbers were crucified there with Him,
Who were suffering justly for their sin.
But one repented before he died,
And turned to the Saviour by his side.
And said in tones of expectancy:
"Lord, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom remember me."
He saw that Christ was the true Messiah,
The Blessed, Anointed One of Jehovah.
"Verily I say unto thee," the Saviour replies,
"Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise."
This unworthy sinner was saved that day,
And you may be too, if you come God's way.
As He lovingly looked upon Mary and John,
He said to her, "Woman, behold thy Son";
And then said to him, "Behold thy mother."
So, from that hour on they lived together.
Then for three hours darkness covered the land,
And we see God's rod in His uplifted hand.
The stroke must fall—oh, wondrous grace!—
It fell on Jesus, Who took our place.
His cry of distress as He hung on that tree:
"My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
Was heard from that darkness when He was made sin,
That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
And now, to fulfill the Scriptures—God's Word—
"I thirst" from His parched, burning lips was heard;
But they had no pity—no water they gave,
Instead reached Him vinegar Who died man to save.
When He knew there was now no more to fulfill,
(His joy and food was to do His Father's will)
He cried, "It is finished" with voice loud and clear,
That all, without exception, those blessed words might hear.
Atonement completed, He bowed His blessed head,
"Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit," He said.
He dismissed His spirit—the Lord of glory died—
The justice of God was completely satisfied.
But we cannot stop this sweet story here:
He was raised the third day the Scriptures declare.
A living, loving Saviour, He's in the glory now,
Oh, will you not receive Him—to Him your knee bow?
And, oh, blessed truth, He's coming again
To receive to Himself those belonging to Him!
Are you ready for this most important event?
Can you say, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus, Amen?"
— by MWTB
The Cross Was His Own
They borrowed a bed to lay His head
When Christ the LORD came down;
They borrowed the ass in the mountain pass
For Him to ride to town;
But the crown that He wore,
And the cross that He bore ...
Were His own.
He borrowed the bread when the crowd He fed
On the grassy mountain side;
He borrowed the dish of broken fish
With which He satisfied;
But the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own.
He borrowed the ship in which to sit
To teach the multitude;
He borrowed the nest in which to rest,
He had never a home so rude;
But the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own.
He borrowed a room on the way to the Tomb
The Passover lamb to eat;
They borrowed the cave; for Him a grave;
They borrowed the winding sheet.
But the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own.
The thorns on His head were worn in my stead,
For me the Saviour died.
For guilt of my sin the nails drove in
When Him they crucified;
Though the crown that He wore
And the cross that He bore
Were His own -They rightly were mine!
— Author Unknown
"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body
on the tree that we, being dead to sins,
should live unto righteousness:
by Whose stripes ye were healed"
(1 Peter 2:24)
"Lord, I can't go on," he said. "I have too heavy a cross to bear." The Lord replied, "My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish."
The man was filled with relief. "Thank you, Lord," he sighed, and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not visible.
Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. "I'd like that one, Lord," he whispered. The Lord replied, "My son, that is the cross you just brought in."
When life's problems seem overwhelming, it helps to look around and see what other people are coping with. You may consider yourself far more blessed than you imagined.
— Author: unknown
The central message of the Bible is the cross of Jesus Christ.
Every part of the Bible either points forward to the coming of Jesus or points backward toward His work on Calvary.
The cross is the heart of God.
The cross of Christ reveals the love of God at its best
and the sin of men at its worst.
Is the cross the center of your heart today?
What Jesus paid on the Cross
Where Is God?
"Where is God?" inquired the mind:
"To His presence I am blind. . . .
I have scanned each star and sun,
Traced the certain course they run;
I have weighed them in my scale,
And can tell when each will fail;
From the caverns of the night
I have brought new worlds to light;
I have measured earth and sky
Read each zone with steady eye;
But no sight of God appears
In the glory of the spheres."
But the heart spoke wistfully,
"Have you looked at Calvary?"
— Thomas C. Clark
The Three Crosses
"Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst." (John 19:18) On a dark day nearly 2000 years ago, three men died on three crosses on a hillside near Jerusalem. You may have heard about Jesus dying on the center cross, but have you ever wondered why there were three crosses that day? What about the other two people?
THE CROSS OF REJECTION
"Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, 'If You are the Christ save Yourself and us'"(Luke 23:39) The first cross held a criminal who remained hardened in sin. Even in the final hours of life, this man showed no remorse for his actions and blasphemed the Lord with his words. In this cross we have a picture of all who reject the salvation offered by God through His Son. Just like the unrepentant thief, we are condemned to death because of our sin. The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23). God sent His own Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for our sins. All who reject Jesus Christ will die in their sins and spend eternity under God's judgment in the Lake of Fire.
THE CROSS OF REPENTANCE
"But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, 'Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said to Jesus, 'Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.' And Jesus said unto him, 'Verily I say unto thee, Today you will be with Me in paradise.'" (Luke 23:40-43) On the second cross we find a thief who admitted that his actions were wrong and that he deserved the punishment he was receiving. This change of heart and mind is called repentance, and is something we all must do. We must see the error of our ways and turn to God's way. Jesus said, "Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5). Turning to Jesus in complete humility, this thief called out to Him for salvation. Think of the great faith this required: Jesus was bleeding and dying right beside him, yet this poor sinner trusted his eternal soul to Him. Because of his repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, he received the promise of everlasting life in Heaven with His Lord.
THE CROSS OF REDEMPTION
" ...You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation." (Revelation 5:9) On the third and final cross we see Jesus, our Redeemer. To redeem means to buy back. Our sins are like a debt far greater than we can pay. Jesus was sinless and holy, yet chose to take upon Himself the punishment for our sin and the death we deserved. Then, three days later, He rose triumphantly from the grave. It is only through His blood that our sins can be washed away. He paid the price for us, so that we can live forever with Him. The Bible says that we are "...redeemed … with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:18,19)
The Choice is Yours
Just as we have seen with the two thieves, there are two responses to Jesus—and two eternal destinies. Jesus died on the cross to redeem you from sin, and rose from the dead to offer you eternal life. I pray that you will see yourself as you really are—a condemned sinner—and that you will turn to God, trusting Jesus Christ as your Savior. The choice is yours to make. Which do you choose today: rejection or repentance? — MWTB
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.." (John 3:16,18)
"Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..."
"I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." (John 12:32). I encourage you on the Holy week in which we consider the passion of Jesus and the coming Easter Sunday to lift Jesus up. Look at Him, admire Him, enjoy Him, appreciate Him, worship Him, love Him, follow Him and serve Him. Do that by calling to mind all that He is for you, and all that He has done for you.
In the verse above, the apostle Paul says, "I am going to boast about one thing. Far be it from me to boast about anything else. I am going to make much of one thing. There is one thing in which I will boast, and that is the cross of Jesus Christ.". Paul says, "I want to find joy in Christ more than in anyone else. I want to set my heart on Christ more than on anything else. I want to make much more of what Jesus Christ has done for me than anything I do for Him." Paul had plenty of things to boast about for himself: about his education and career, his experience and his suffering, but he boasted only about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was able to say "Far be it from me to boast except in the miracles of Jesus." Nobody would be surprised if he said that or "Far be it from me to boast except in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.". But the focus of his joy, his delight and his affection was on the cross. That is astonishing, isn't it? The cross was an instrument of suffering and death. If someone said, "Far be it from me to boast except in the electric chair," we would find that repulsive. So what is Paul saying? What is the great accomplishment, what is the supreme inexhaustible value, what is the ultimate joy that this man sees in the cross? "Even though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insulter. But I received mercy..." 1 Timothy 1:13
Because of the cross he changed from the inside and gives the answer in this letter: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20). He says here is what changed me. "Christ gave His life for me on the cross and now, through the cross, He has birthed a new life in me. That’s what changed me. Far be it from me to boast except in one thing, and it’s not my education, it’s not my opportunity and it’s not my religious activity. It’s the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!". The cross is the place where God's love and His justice meet. Both are poured out in fullness and perfection. God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8). God put forward Jesus as a propitiation. This was to show God's righteousness. (Romans 3:25). Justice and mercy meet and they kiss at the cross. Besides that, Jesus "The Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water..." (Revelation 7:17). Christ himself will lead each believer into the delights of God's new creation and He will go on doing that forever and ever. Sometimes I wonder where my old nature would have taken me by now, if it had not been for the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. What about you? Do you ever wonder about that?
Dear Friend, If God had only said, "I forgive you," that would be kind. But when God says, "I will forgive you at the cost of my Son becoming your sin-bearer," we are left saying, "How kind is that?" The justice of God magnifies His love, as the love of God magnifies His justice. The more you think about His justice, the more amazing His love will seem to you. The more you think about His love, the more awe-inspiring His justice will seem to you. If God simply said, "There will be an amnesty for all people. I suspend justice and offer forgiveness to all," we'd say, "Surely, God must love us." But when God takes Jesus' flesh and absorbs the justice that should have been ours, in order that we may find forgiveness in Him and enter into the love that is rightly His, that's amazing beyond measure. It is impossible to fully describe all the effects of the cross of Christ unless you could fully reckon up all the eternal evils it prevents, all the divine perfections it displays and all the grace and glory it purchases. How great is your privilege, how great is your joy, if you belong to Him today. Whatever your situation—whatever you've faced, and whatever you’ve accomplished, when you think of what He's done for you, don't you find yourself saying, "I want to make much of Him. I want to take pride in Him. I want the world to know about Him." Don't you find yourself saying, "I want to make more of Him than my greatest triumph, and I want to make more of Him than my greatest disappointment." Here's a prayer that I hope you will make yours today in the light of the glory of our crucified Savior. "Help me to be a person who makes more of the cross than my greatest difficulty, and more of the cross than my greatest success. Far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." — Ted M.
Why Did Jesus Die?
This question is of vital importance because your eternal destiny depends upon your answer to it. Do you know why Jesus died? If not, I believe God has sent me across your path to tell you.
Sin Brings Death
In God’s Word, the Bible, we learn that death came into the world because of sin. "Wherefore … by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12). "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). You and I die because we are sinners; we have forfeited our right to live on the earth. "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
Jesus Died For Us
Did Jesus die because He had sinned? No. Listen to the inspired Word: "In Him is no sin" (1 John 3:5); "Who did no sin" (1 Peter 2:22); "Who knew no sin" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Therefore, death had no claim upon Him. But, blessed be His Name, He "gave Himself for our sins" (Galatians 1:4). It was love to you and me that caused the Lord Jesus Christ to come down from heaven and die on Calvary’s cross. It was love to us that held Him on that shameful cross until He had finished the work of atonement to the glory of God.
A holy, righteous, just God cannot let sin go unpunished. On the cross the Lord Jesus bore God's judgment against sin in our stead, as our substitute; and now God is offering not only forgiveness, but also justification to the repentant sinner who believes in Jesus. He is "just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). God showed His approval of that mighty work by raising the Lord Jesus from among the dead and seating Him at His own right hand in heaven (Mark 16:19).
Jesus Is The Way
There is no other way a sinner can be saved but through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me" (John 14:6). "Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
Why did Jesus die? Have you ever realized that it was your sins that caused Him to die upon the cross, or ever felt your need of Him as your personal Saviour? As you read this little message, He looks down from heaven upon you, and He reads the thoughts and intents of your heart. He knows your attitude toward your sins, as well as your attitude toward the One who wants to be your Saviour.
Turn To Him Today
Even if you are a stranger to me, God knows all about you. I urge you not to lay aside this paper until you have settled this great question and have received the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. Once you see the seriousness of your sinful condition before God, you will never get rest of conscience and heart until you have trusted the Saviour of sinners. He made "peace through the blood of His cross" (Colossians 1:20). We are "reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10).
If you do not trust Him now as your Saviour, you will meet Him in eternity as your Judge. For God "hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead" (Acts 17:31).
Won't you flee to Him now for refuge while it is the day of salvation? "We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20). —MWTB
Cross Of Christ: Our Bridge Of Reconciliation
Cross Of Christ: A Pledge Of Forgiveness
Cross Of Christ: Both Criminals And Moralists Need Christ
The ground is level at the foot of the cross. This is an old saying, but still, when it comes to mankind’s universal need for salvation, it is true. At an evangelistic service conducted in London by Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, a hardened criminal came forward to the altar seeking salvation. Dr. Morgan knelt beside him and pointed him to Jesus the Lamb of God who could cleanse him from all his sins, and he who had been a great sinner believed and was converted.
Then Dr. Morgan saw the Mayor of the city, a man of high morals and greatly respected, kneeling at the same altar, and to him, as to the criminal, he pointed out the Lamb of God who alone could take away sins. In humble self-surrender, the Mayor, too, accepted Jesus as his Saviour. A short time before this, the Mayor had sentenced the criminal to imprisonment; and there at the altar the two shook hands while tears of joy ran down their cheeks. For the worst of sinners and the best of moralists there is the same Saviour. In none other is there salvation, for "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Cross Of Christ: Not Cheap
"Let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24 Speaking to a group of college students, a missionary told of his experiences on a foreign field. He said that a day never went by that he wasn't jeered as he preached the gospel on street corners. During religious holidays and festivals, vendors would be out selling religious artifacts and crosses. Hawking their wares, they would cry out, "Crosses! Cheap crosses for sale! " The missionary then challenged the students: "What about your cross? Is the cross you bear for the sake of our Lord only a cheap cross?"
Triumph of the Cross
"God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Galatians 6:14). When the beloved apostle Paul penned these words he was no doubt giving expression to the greatest triumph in his life. They carry with them a note of victory. The world has no place in his life; he is dead to it, and it is dead to him. It is wonderful to know that his sins are put away, but here he is not glorying in that. Here, because of his identification with the cross, he is glorying in the fact that the world is crucified to him, and he is crucified to the world.
It is true that on the cross sin was put away, but that was through the atoning work of the One who gave His life-blood for the remission of sins. When we consider the cross in itself, we get other thoughts about it. The atonement wrought there was the work accomplished on the cross. This, every intelligent believer knows for himself.
But what about the cross on which the work was done? Paul brings in the cross to show us there is more in connection with it than the death of Christ. It is this manner of death that gives the great value to it, because there goes with it the lowest extreme of shame and suffering; "it was the severest penalty of a slave." The ruin of man is seen there. It represents all that man is in his ruined condition. Toward it all things gravitate; from it all things radiate.
Since the cross is the expression of the end of man, then for mankind to be saved, the Lord Jesus must take that place in their stead. This being so, why should not every one who comes under the shelter of the atoning work of Christ therefore identify himself with the cross whereon He took their place? It is easy to outwardly accept Christ as Saviour, but to identify oneself with His cross is another thing. — S.H.
Preaching of the Cross
The cross declared that the one who was hanging there was guilty of the vilest, the most awful crimes, and was utterly unfit to live, that he was rejected of man and accursed of God. Jesus, God's Son, was on Calvary's cross to bear the punishment of God against sin, and now God in infinite love sends out the word of the cross to all the world. Man at last is going to be judged by his attitude toward that cross.
If the cross as yet means nothing to you, you are lost. If you say, "I do not understand it at all. The very idea that a man, no matter how good he is, could be nailed to a cross and there make atonement for my sins makes no sense to me," then you are lost. "The preaching of the cross is to them that perish [are lost] foolishness" (1 Corinthians 1:18). What a terrible condition to be in. Not only are you in danger of being lost by and by if you continue to reject Christ who died for you, but you are lost, and should death come, you will go into eternity to be lost forever.
Look at the other side. "But unto us which are saved it is the power of God." Of whom is this speaking? People who once were lost but now are saved. Do you say, "I do not understand that, for nobody can be sure of his salvation until the day of judgment when he stands before God and the question is there decided"? That is not what the Bible teaches, dear friend. It speaks of people already lost and people already saved. "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9).
One day an elderly woman went to hear two preachers and returned home saying she did not understand their messages. "The first man got up and talked to folk he said were saved already, to folk so good I did not know existed in our town. Then the other man got up and preached to folk so wicked that he said they were lost and going to hell. But there was not one word for me." According to her estimation, she was not lost and she was not saved. But God's Word says there are just two classes, "them that perish," and "us which are saved." The saved are those who have faced their sins in the presence of God and have seen in the work of the cross that which has satisfied God and that in which their hearts can rest. They are saved right here and now.
Perhaps you are in doubt about these things. Maybe you are a church member or profess to be a Christian, but you have doubts that you are really saved. If you have never been saved or have doubts, will you right now take your place before God as a poor, lost sinner and look up in faith to Christ who died on Calvary's cross and confess to Him you are the sinner for whom He suffered and that you now trust Him as Saviour? Do this now and you will be among those saved by the power of God. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). —Adapted from 1 Corinthians by H. A. Ironside, published by Loizeaux Brothers, P.O. Box 277, Neptune, NJ 07754.
Contrasts of the Cross
It has been truly said, there is nothing like the cross. It stands and shall stand forever, in all its solitary greatness and grandeur, in the center of the circle of eternity, the wonder of every intelligent creature, and the pillar upon which is indelibly inscribed the evil and hatred of the fallen being, and the goodness and love of God. Out from amidst the dim shadows of the past it looms upon the vision, in all its brightness and blackness, truth and treachery, sunshine and shadow, faithfulness and falseness, righteousness and sin, judgment and mercy, compassion and cruelty, love and hatred. By its light the heart of heaven is revealed, and the deepest depths of the abyss of evil are discovered. The blessing and the curse there lift their voices together. There the inky sea of human guilt wallows in all its foulness, and there the unsullied ocean of divine grace swallows up everything with its swelling tide.
There appears the greatest sin the creature ever committed, and there is the mightiest display of infinite mercy on the part of God that ever came to light. It is the place where man was tested in every spring of his moral being, and it is where the compassions of God were sounded to their depths. It is where the hostile fallen creature lifted an impious hand, and struck at his Creator with deadly intent, and it is where the answer of the Creator was given in unspeakable and infinite love. The volume of wrath, curse, judgment, and woe which encircled Golgotha, not the regions of the lost could enclose; and heaven itself shall not be vast enough to circumscribe the love, the grace, and the mercy which have been there expressed. There the whole question of good and evil has been gone into, solved, and settled forever.
There all the forces of good and evil were gathered together. Satan was discovered as the prince and god of the world, and his power was forever broken. The wisdom of the world was seen to be foolishness with God: it had never arrived at the knowledge of Him, and when he was revealed before its eyes it knew Him not. Man was seen to be incorrigibly wicked and at heart a hater of God. God was declared in perfect goodness and love on behalf of man, in spite of the hostility with which it was met by those whom it had singled out as its objects. Jesus was there, the obedient One, glorifying God even when abandoned by Him. He had come to do the will of God, and let the cost be what it might to Himself, He would not be turned aside. To Him be everlasting praise! — W.T.
The Two-Fold Message of the Cross
There seem to be few Christians who realize that the death of Christ on the cross in the shedding of His blood has a double meaning, a double deliverance. Every born-again Christian realizes the first meaning of the cross, that of deliverance from the guilt of sin, but few realize and actually live upon the second meaning of the cross, that of deliverance from the power of sin upon one's life.
The double deliverance of the cross does not make me sinless but gives to me a moment by moment joyous and abiding-through-conflict victory over sin, Satan and his hosts. Understanding and appropriating the facts of the cross proves to be one of the most difficult and trying of all phases for the growing believer. The believer's understanding of the two aspects of Calvary gives the key to both spiritual growth and life-giving service.
Calvary is the secret of it all. It is what He did there that counts, and what He did becomes a force in the life of a Christian when it is appropriated by faith. This is the starting point from which all godly living must take its rise. We shall never know the experience of Christ's victory in our lives until we are prepared to count (reckon) upon His victory at the cross as the secret of our personal victory today. The beginning of the life of holiness is a faith in the crucified Saviour which sees more than His substitutionary work. It is a faith which sees myself identified with Christ in His death and resurrection.
Faith gives the Holy Spirit freedom to bring that finished work into our daily lives. We stood on the fact of His dying for our sins, and this act of faith allowed the Holy Spirit to give us our freedom from the penalty of sin—justification. Now, once we come to see the fact of the further aspect, we are urged in the Word to stand on the liberating truth of our dying with Christ in His death to sin, which allows the Holy Spirit to bring into our lives freedom from the power, the enslavement, of sin—progressive sanctification.
As our Substitute He went to the cross alone, without us, to pay the penalty of our sins. As our Representative, He took us with Him to the Cross, and there, in the sight of God, we all died together with Christ. We may be forgiven because He died in our stead; we may be delivered because we died with Him.
Through the crucifixion of the old man with Christ, the believer has been made dead unto sin, he has been completely freed from sin's power, he has been taken beyond sin's grip, the claim of sin upon him has been nullified. This is the flawless provision of God's grace but this accomplished fact can only become an actual reality in the believer's experience as faith lays hold upon it and enables him moment by moment, day by day, though temptation assail him, to "reckon" it true (Romans 6). As he reckons, the Holy Spirit makes real. Sin need have no more power over the believer than he grants it through unbelief. If he is alive unto sin it will be due largely to the fact that he has failed to reckon himself dead unto sin.
What is lacking amongst believers to this day is the proper emphasis on growth—not just to be saved, and heaven by and by. What sort of salvation would we have if our Father simply saved us from the penalty of our sins and then left us on our own to deal with the power of sin in our Christian life and walk? But many believers feel this is about as far as He went and are struggling to get on the best they can, with His help. We must be brought back to the two basics: freed from the penalty of sin by His finished work; freed from the power of sin by His finished work.
We are not left to deal with the old life ourselves; it has been dealt with by Christ on the cross. This is the fact which must be known since on that fact is built the New Testament principle and doctrine of holiness. In other words, Calvary is as much the foundation of sanctification as of justification.
Now, as long as the believer does not know this dual aspect of his salvation, the best he can do is seek to handle his sins via confession (1 John 1:9)—that is, after the damage has been done! This takes care of the penalty of the product but not the source. Is it not time we allowed the Holy Spirit to get at the source and cut off this stream of sins before they are committed? Is this not infinitely better than the wreckage caused by sin, even though confessed? When believers get sick and tired of spinning round and round in a spiritual squirrel cage—sinning, confessing, but then sinning again—they will be ready for God's answer to the source of sin, which is death to self, brought forth from the completed work of the cross.
When God's light first shines into our heart our one cry is for forgiveness, for we realize that we have committed sins before Him; but once we have known forgiveness of sins, we make a new discovery—the discovery of sin, and we realize that we have the nature of a sinner. There is an inward inclination to sin. There is a power within that draws us to sin, and when that power breaks out we commit sins. We may seek and receive forgiveness, but then we sin again; and life goes on in a vicious circle—sinning and being forgiven, but then sinning again. We appreciate God's forgiveness, but we want something more than that, we want deliverance. We need forgiveness for what we have done, but we need deliverance from what we are.
I must recognize that the enemy within—the flesh, the old nature, self, I, the old Adam, is a usurper. By faith I must reckon him to be in the place that God put him—crucified with Christ. — Adapted from Principles of Spiritual Growth by Miles J. Stanford, published by Back to the Bible
The New Cross
"From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life; and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique—a new type of meeting and new type of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as of the old, but its content is not the same, and the emphasis not as before.
"The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into the public view the same thing the world does, only a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.
"The new cross does not slay the sinner; it re-directs him. It gears him to a cleaner and jollier way of living, and saves his self-respect...The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.
"The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere, but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.
The old cross is a symbol of DEATH. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took the cross and started down the road has already said goodbye to his friends. He was not coming back. He was not going out to have his life re-directed; he was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise; modified nothing; spared nothing. It slew all of the man completely, and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with the victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.
"The race of Adam is under the death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear, or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him, and then raising him again to newness of life.
"That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world; it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life to a higher plane; we leave it at the cross....
"We, who preach the gospel, must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, or the world of sports, or modern entertainment. We are not diplomats, but prophets; and our message is not a compromise, but an ultimatum." — The Biblical Evangelist
Man's Foolishness, or God's Power
"For the preaching of the cross [the message the cross brings] is to them that perish foolishness,
but unto us which are saved it is the power of God"
(1 Corinthians 1:18).
The message of the cross divides mankind into two classes. The unbelievers regard it as foolishness, and are therefore perishing; the believers accept it as truth and receive salvation by the power of God. In which class does my reader find himself?
Sadly, there are many who wear a cross merely as some charm or trinket. They think it places them in a religious attitude and atmosphere, but they do not know the Christ of the cross. Neither do they accept the complete message of the cross with its separation from sin and the world. What is this complete message of the cross?
1. The message of HOLINESS and SIN—The holiness of the Sufferer and the dreadful sin of the sinner. The Lord Jesus Christ "did no sin" (1 Peter 2:22); "knew no sin" (2 Corinthians 5:21); "in Him was no sin" (1 John 3:5). Only as such could He be the perfect Sacrifice to satisfy God’s holiness. Sin demanded death. Our sins were placed on Him. He made them His own and bore the judgment we deserved. "The holiness of God and the sinfulness of man have met in awful conflict in the cross of Christ. That cross which reveals God at His best, if we might so put it, reveals man at his worst. The word of the cross then is the word of victory in holiness, and the defeat and putting away of sin" (James Smith).
2. The message of LOVE and SACRIFICE. The cross stands for the infinite love of God the Father who "so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son," and for the sacrifice of the Son of God on Calvary: "Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor" (Ephesians 5:2). The message of the cross, then, is the message of gracious, undeserved love and sacrifice to put away sin and make salvation available to all mankind, "that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
3. The message of RIGHTEOUSNESS and PEACE. Isaiah tells us that "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever." The work of righteousness is the work that was finished on the cross when Jesus exhausted the judgment of God and cried "It is finished." God’s righteous demands were met by His death on the sinner's behalf. That infinite work of righteousness has made peace by the blood Jesus shed on the cross. Of the one who puts his trust in the Lord Jesus, we read, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Will you not give heed to the message of the cross? — Author Unknown
Finished Work of the Cross
"It is finished" (John 19:30). Thus Christ, while hanging on the cross, cried with a loud voice before He gave up the ghost. The agony of the crucifixion was over—the awful suffering first under the heat of the sun, and then in the darkness which God drew like a curtain about Calvary. He had hung there, racked with pain. He had been mocked and insulted. Now the time of release was come. Into His Father’s hands He commended His spirit and died (Luke 23:46).
But more was finished than the physical suffering. Redemption’s work was done. He had finished paying the penalty of sin. He had finished the task which would make sinful man acceptable to a sinless God. He had completed the work of salvation. There was nothing more which could be done. He had suffered, the Just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18).
Some men do not realize how completely it was finished. There are those who still try to work out salvation for themselves. They are trying to make themselves acceptable unto God by good deeds. When they sin, they seek to counter-balance that by an act of righteousness, hoping that God will take account of the good and overlook the bad. They labor fruitlessly, seeking to accomplish that which cannot be done "for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16). They seek to do what has already been done—the work of salvation. Christ on the cross finished that work.
Our salvation depends not upon what we do but upon what He has done. When we personally believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and come to Him as a repentant sinner, we are saved. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross]: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14,15). All of the believer’s sins were atoned for when Christ died, and "His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). He is thus forever free from their guilt. Nothing remains to be done about them. Jesus took care of every sin when he died. Forever and eternally "it is finished"! — Selected
depression and darkness to freedom in Christ!
Sam Rotman, concert pianist
The famous concert pianist Sam Rotman performs concerts worldwide and has participated in prestigious competitions including the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna and the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. In his testimony about growing up in a Jewish family and coming to faith in Y'shua (Jesus) as his Messiah, he stated that "Coming to know Jesus Christ The Messiah is the greatest event that has ever happened to me. Music is not the most important thing in my life, but Jesus Christ is."
Young Jewish Man Receives Jesus As Messiah.
"I was raised in a fairly traditional Jewish home in the Chicago area. I went to Hebrew school, Shabbat school, and was active in BBYO, a Jewish youth group affiliated with our Conservative synagogue. I had my bar mitzvah.
When I was seventeen and my grandmother died, my thoughts turned to some of life’s bigger questions: Why are we born if life ends in death? Is there anything which gives life a deeper meaning than just work and play; providing for family and having a good time?
By a strange twist, in my first semester at university I wound up writing a research paper on why the Jews at the time of Jesus did not believe he was the messiah (and this was for a Jewish professor). I had to examine those passages of the Bible that our rabbis had said spoke of messiah.
As I read books by Jewish, Christian, and secular authors, all who attempted to explain these passages, my questions seemed to multiply; and so I met with two rabbis and two Christian ministers in town to hear both sides.
Through all of this I began to lean in the uncomfortable direction that perhaps Jesus just might be the messiah and that maybe I hadn't been told the whole story as I grew up. But my Jewishness prevented me from being completely objective, and so with a sense of relief I finished my paper and tried to put the subject behind me.
A few months after this, a close friend of mine told me that she began to believe in Jesus, and I quietly began to observe her life and to detect some positive changes.
Around that time I began to "pray." That is, I began to question out loud if there was a God and whether Jesus might be the promised messiah. In my own way I uttered an honest prayer wanting to know the truth.
Without going into other details, let me say that God does answer prayers like that. I came to the point where I believed that there is a God and that Jesus is the Messiah..."
Dear Friend, nearly two-thousand years ago, on the solitary hill of Mount Calvary,
Jesus died for your sins. He purchased your pardon.
Today, take some time to worship your Savior.
He died for me!
Live, Love, Laugh!
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine"
Cross of Christ
In the 1993 hit film In the Line of Fire, Clint Eastwood played Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan. Horrigan had protected the life of the President for more than three decades, but he was haunted by the memory of what had happened thirty years before. Horrigan was a young agent assigned to President Kennedy on that fateful day in Dallas in 1963. When the assassin fired, Horrigan froze in shock. For thirty years afterward, he wrestled with the ultimate question for a Secret Service agent: Can I take a bullet for the President? In the climax of the movie, Horrigan does what he had been unable to do earlier: he throws himself into the path of an assassin’s bullet to save the Chief Executive. Secret Service agents are willing to do such a thing because they believe the President is so valuable to our country and the world that he is worth dying for. Obviously they would not take a bullet for just anyone. At Calvary, the situation was reversed. The President of the Universe actually took a bullet for each of us. At the Cross, we see how valuable we are to God. –– DOUGLAS G. Pratt Allison Park, Pennsylvania
The Cross Jesus Had in Mind
When Jesus said, "If you are going to follow me, you have to take up a cross," it was the same as saying, "Come and bring your electric chair with you. Take up the gas chamber and follow me." He did not have a beautiful gold cross in mind—the cross on a church steeple or on the front of your Bible. Jesus had in mind a place of execution. — Billy Graham in “The Offense of the Cross”
The Christian's Cross
The Christian's cross is not the trouble and pain that are the common lot of mankind, but is peculiar to the followers of the Crucified. Of this cross, every true believer knows something, however slight, but the apostle Paul knew much, as he tells us in such passages as Colossians 1:24; Corinthians 4:10 and Philippians 3:10.
The cross for the Christian means the refusal of sin and self-will. It means living for the spiritual and eternal at the expense of the natural and temporal; for the kingdom of God at the expense of our own ambitions and interests, and sometimes our friendships and health. It may even entail persecution. It is the spirit of sacrificial service. In short, the Christian's cross is the cost of doing God's will and serving men's highest interests.
"At Thy feet, O Christ, we lay
Thine own gift of this new day;
Doubt of what it holds in store
Makes us crave Thine aid the more;
Lest it prove a time of loss,
Mark it, Saviour, with Thy cross."
— Hymn by William Bright
Saintly Rutherford could say, "Christ's cross is the sweetest burden I ever had; it is such a burden as wings are to a bird, to carry me forward."— E. Adams
Grandpa and Grandson
A young grandson called one day to wish his Grandpa a Happy Birthday. He asked his Grandpa how old he was. When he told him, 63 years old, his grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked,
"Did you start at 1?"
"Casting all your care upon him [Jesus]; for he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
HYMNS and SONGS (MUSIC CLIPS- AUDIOS)
At the cross, at the cross,
Where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
HYMNS, SONGS and SERMONS (VIDEOS)
He could have called ten thousand angels
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.
SERMONS FROM THE PAST AND PRESENT
E-GREETING CARDS FOR EVERY OCCASION
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
God loves the world. Do you?
"I am finished"
"It is finished"
He was just getting started!
Jesus gave His life on the cross to pay your sins in full because He loves you.
Are you doubting God's love for you?
Have difficult circumstances caused you to wonder if He truly cares?
Although the Lord may seem silent at this time,
He reminds you of His love through the cross of Christ.
The death of His Son is a constant reminder of His unconditional
love for you.
When you feel He is far from you, let His hands do His talking.
Don't forget that death can never sever what the Cross unites.
THE CROSS, YOUR HOPE!
Amazing Love! Amazing Grace!