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In the Cross of Christ We Glory In the Cross of Christ We Glory

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In the Cross of Christ We Glory

Posted on Tue, Mar 6, 2018

Pastor Bob Norton

Author Max Lucado describes the pivotal
nature of the cross in history and in each
of our lives. It rests on the time-line of history
like a compelling diamond. Its tragedy summons
all sufferers. Its absurdity attracts all
cynics. Its hope lures all searchers. History
has idolized and despised it, gold-plated and
burned it, worn and trashed it. History has
done everything but ignore it. How could you
ignore such a piece of lumber? Suspended on
its beams is the greatest claim in history. A
crucified carpenter claiming to be God on
earth. Divine. Eternal. The death-slayer.
Never has timber been regarded so sacred. No
wonder the apostle Paul called the cross event
the core of the gospel. It’s bottom line sobering:
if the account is true, it is history’s hinge. Period.
If not, the cross is history’s hoax. Which
is the cross for you, hinge or hoax? Or in the
words of Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?”
The powerful testimony of the Bible is
that Jesus is God in human flesh (John
1:14). His death on the cross is the demonstration
of His immeasurable redemptive
love for humankind (Romans 5:8). This
exquisite diamond of spiritual truth when
turned in the light of eternity reflects facets
of spiritual reality which profoundly
touches our lives. Truly, “in Christ God
was reconciling the world to himself” (2
Corinthians 5:19).
The cross reveals the substitutionary
atonement of Jesus Christ for his people (2
Corinthians 5:2). He bore our sins on the
cross (Isaiah 53:6). He was our substitute
to bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18). Atonement
(sometimes explained as at-Onement)
is the work of God which brings
justification (“being put into a right relationship
with God”). It is the work of God
in reconciling a sinful humanity to a holy
God. It is sheer grace. We don’t deserve it
and we can’t earn it. The cross draws our
faith and issues forth in a righteousness
which comes from God (Romans 3:21-26).
The cross has also been interpreted as a
ransom to set us free from the tyranny of
the Enemy (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).
Because of Christ’s redemptive work for us
on the cross, we are forgiven and free.
Once we were slaves to sin, but now we
live for God (Galatians 2:20).
The cross certainly is the most powerful
demonstration of the love of God known
to man (Romans 5:8). The American folk
hymn What Wondrous Love is This? beautifully
portrays the message of God’s love
emanating from the cross. The classic
hymn Beneath the Cross of Jesus refers to
“Two wonders I confess – the wonders of
his glorious love and my unworthiness.”
We never have to wonder about God’s
love. It is proven in the historical event of
the cross of Christ. God loves us. We can
be sure.
The cross is also powerful in the interpretation
of the moral influence theory.
We love because he first loved us (1 John
4:7-21). The classic devotional hymn When
I Survey the Wondrous Cross brings us to
humility and loving obedience. I surrender
all because he has given himself for
me.
And finally, the cross reveals Christus
Victor! The cross was not the defeat of
Christ, but the victory of God over sin and
death. His death defeated Satan and
brought salvation to sinful humanity. The
resurrection validated the reality of his
victory on the cross. Some churches reflect
this view by showing Christ the King with
a regal crown (not a crown of thorns) and
the cross being his throne of glory. Mel
Gibson showed this cinematographically in
The Passion of the Christ when Jesus’ “It is
finished!” and his death brought the rending
of the Temple curtain (reconciling God
and man) and Satan’s writhing in pain and
anguish for Christ has won the victory!
Sins are forgiven! We are one with God
through Christ. And we have a glorious
purpose for living as a people living under
the Cross of Christ!

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