The Cosmic Dilemma

So that we could be reconciled to God the Father, He chose to sacrifice His Son.

John 3:14-21

14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes will have eternal life in Him.

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him. 18 The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, so that his deeds will not be exposed. 21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God.”

 

Most people go through life unaware of the great cosmic dilemma—namely, how can a holy God be reconciled with sinful humanity? Nor do they give much thought to the solution that God Himself provided at Calvary: The cross was the place where both His love and His justice were on full display.

When Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord, they exposed the entire human race to sin. Humanity’s condition stood in opposition to the perfectly righteous God who created them.

The Lord could have abandoned mankind to condemnation. But in love, He wanted to forgive sinful people and reconcile them to Himself—while remaining absolutely just. His solution was to provide a perfect sacrifice to atone for their sins. That meant a flawless substitute was needed to take the punishment sinners deserved. So God sent His Son into the world to bear mankind’s sin and appease His own justice.

The cross of Jesus represents the only answer to this cosmic problem. God was satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice so that in eternal love He could welcome redeemed mankind into His holy presence. Have you trusted Jesus as Savior and acknowledged the sacrifice He made on your behalf?

The Power of Jesus’ Last Words:

1: The Power of Jesus’ Last Words: The Meaning Behind ‘It Is Finished’

He spoke it out loud. He declared it for all to hear. He uttered a loud cry to His Father in heaven for the whole world to know, and for every evil force to have to flee, for Christ’s work on the cross was complete.
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He Carried MY Cross

 

“But He was hurt for OUR wrongdoing. He was crushed for OUR sins. He was punished so WE would have peace. He was beaten so WE would be healed.” Isaiah 53:5

An old Christian drama depicts a little boy working in his parent’s carpentry shop in first century Jerusalem. He protests his chore, which is to assist in building a cross. The parents insist that he help because Rome has given them a contract for construction of crosses.

In another scene the boy is weeping. “What is wrong?” his parents ask. He responds, “I went to the marketplace, and I saw Jesus of Nazareth, the Man we love to hear preach, and He was carrying my cross! They took Him to Golgotha and nailed Him to MY cross.”

The parents insist, “Oh no, son, that wasn’t your cross. Other people in Jerusalem build crosses. That wasn’t your cross.” “Oh yes, it was! When you weren’t looking, I carved my name on the cross I was making. When Jesus was carrying His cross, He stumbled right beside me, I looked, and my name was on His cross!”2

I am sure many of you, like me, have heard the story of Jesus’ crucifixion several times throughout your years as a Christian. I was speaking to someone the other day about Easter, the plans they had, and the services they would be attending, and as I listened to them, I realized how the Easter story, for some, has become just one more part of the day. It has simply become a tradition to attend church on Easter Sunday and remember the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. Hearing the pain and suffering that Jesus endured brings tears to our eyes and feelings of awe as we think that someone would submit themselves to such horrific agony. But there is a problem… we have failed to make the story our own. We have come to generalize the story of how Jesus died for the sins of the world but have failed to claim this Salvation as ours.

Take a moment and say this with me, “Jesus died for the sins of the world”. Now, let’s change it up a bit and say, out loud, “Jesus died for MY sin”. Did you feel the difference? Did you feel the stirring inside you as you made it personal? I know I did!

My friend, Jesus’ death was far from a simple story to be shared on Good Friday. It is a POWERFUL story of how He gave His life to give ME salvation, to give ME hope, to give ME peace, to give ME eternal life, to make ME a beloved child of God. Claim this truth as yours today. Jesus wants to have a personal relationship with us individually! As we remember His incomparable sacrifice today, let us not forget this: He carried MY cross.

Suggested prayer: Dear Jesus, saying thank you to the Man who died for me just doesn’t seem like enough, but THANK YOU. Lord, just as you carried the cross for me, help me pick up my cross daily and live for you. You alone are worthy of my praise and adoration. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

  1. www.sermoncentral.com
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The Necessity of the Cross

Colossians 2:9-15 For Christ is not only God-like, He is God in human flesh. 10 When you have Christ, you are complete. He is the head over all leaders and powers. 11 When you became a Christian, you were set free from the sinful things of the world. This was not done by human hands. You were set free from the sins of your old self by what was done in Christ’s body. 12 When you were baptized, you were buried as Christ was buried. When you were raised up in baptism, you were raised as Christ was raised. You were raised to a new life by putting your trust in God. It was God Who raised Jesus from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins, you were not set free from the sinful things of the world. But God forgave your sins and gave you new life through Christ. 14 We had broken the Law many ways. Those sins were held against us by the Law. That Law had writings which said we were sinners. But now He has destroyed that writing by nailing it to the cross. 15 God took away the power of the leaders of this world and the powers of darkness. He showed them to the world. The battle was won over them through Christ.

What does the cross mean to you? Many people in the world today view it as a symbol of Christianity, but think about what it represented in Christ’s day. Nobody wore a miniature cross around the neck or displayed one in a place of worship. The cross was a torturous means of execution, and the mere thought of it was repulsive.

Yet believers throughout the ages have chosen this as the sign of their faith. In fact, to remove the cross from our teaching and theology would leave nothing but an empty, powerless religion. How could anyone be saved if Christ had not been crucified and resurrected? According to Scripture, there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (The Law says that almost everything is made clean by blood. Sins are not forgiven unless blood is given. Heb. 9:22). Christ had to bear the punishment for our sin in order for God to grant us forgiveness.

Every time you see a cross, remember what it really was—an instrument of execution. Then thank Jesus that He was willing to be crucified so the Father could forgive you of sin. Though the scene of your redemption was horrendous, Christ turned the cross into a place of great triumph.

The Theology of Easter

Podcast at https://intersectproject.org/faith-and-culture/ken-keathley-and-benjamin-quinn-the-theology-of-easter/

Good Friday: You Shall Surely Die

By Bill Smith

 

The Garden had become a place of death. Two cherubim with flaming swords were stationed at the east gate, ready to strike and put to death anyone who sought access to the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden.

God never intended to keep man out of the Garden forever. God desired communion with man; for man to draw near to him with no veils in between. But man sinned and was cut off from this nearness to God.

From the time of the fall until the time of Christ Jesus, God made provisions to draw near to him through vicarious substitutes. Man enjoyed the benefits of temporary forgiveness and communion with God that was real but not enjoyed in its fullness.

Man was kept at a distance, separated by animals, veils, and various levels of holiness. None of these provisions was God’s full intention for man. They were types and shadows of things to come when God would grant full and free access to the Garden once again for man to eat with him at the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Continue at: http://kuyperian.com/good-friday-you-shall-surely-die/

Where God’s Wrath and Love Meet

Romans 3:21-26 21 But now God has made another way to make men right with Himself. It is not by the Law. The Law and the early preachers tell about it. 22 Men become right with God by putting their trust in Jesus Christ. God will accept men if they come this way. All men are the same to God. 23 For all men have sinned and have missed the glory of God. 24 Anyone can be made right with God by the free gift of His grace. It is Jesus Christ Who bought them with His blood and made them free from their sins. 25 God gave Jesus Christ to the world. Men’s sins can be forgiven through the blood of Christ when they put their trust in Him. God gave His Son Jesus Christ to show how right He is. Before this, God did not look on the sins that were done. 26 But now God proves that He is right in saving men from sin. He shows that He is the One Who has no sin. God makes anyone right with Himself who puts his trust in Jesus.

Until we learn to see sin as God does, it’s difficult to understand what happened at Christ’s crucifixion. God is holy and just, and Scripture tells us that His response to sin is wrath and punishment (We see the anger of God coming down from heaven against all the sins of men. These sinful men keep the truth from being known.Rom. 1:18; You get what is coming to you when you sin. It is death! But God’s free gift is life that lasts forever. It is given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 6:23). Yet He also loves sinners and wants to be reconciled with them. The cross was the perfect answer to this terrible dilemma. It was the place where God’s wrath and love met.

The only way to rescue fallen mankind from eternal punishment was to devise a plan whereby the Lord could forgive sins without compromising His holiness. His wrath had to be poured out on a suitable substitute, the perfect Son of God.

So Jesus suffered His Father’s wrath for us as He hung on the cross. Sin was punished, divine justice was satisfied, and God could forgive sinners—all in accordance with His character. His wrath was poured out on His Son so His love and forgiveness could be lavished upon us.

We’ll never be able to understand all that happened while Jesus hung on the cross. Although we can to a certain degree comprehend the physical suffering He endured, Christ bore so much more: the very wrath of God. This costly redemption plan proves the Father’s great love for us.

It Is Finished

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

Our sin renders us indebted to God, estranged from Him, and guilty before His judgment. Today, R.C. Sproul presents our only and all-sufficient hope: Jesus has provided the perfect sacrifice necessary for our redemption.

Taking Up the Cross

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

The Christian life is more costly than we realize and more precious than we know. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his exposition of the gospel of Mark to help us soberly assess the price of following our crucified King.

The Man Who Carried Jesus’ Cross: The Hidden Significance Of Simon Of Cyrene’s Sons

https://isjesusalive.com/the-man-who-carried-jesus-cross-the-hidden-significance-of-simon-of-cyrenes-sons/