Understanding the Cross of Christ (Part One)

“The cross of Christ is a symbol of God’s heartbreak over a world gone astray.” All men need the gospel which is ultimately the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. It is the central event in the history of the world. One man’s suffering parted the waves of history. Christ gave his life so that we could be forgiven of our sins.
Christ became the bearer of our sins. As Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years earlier, “He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers,” and “for the transgression of my people He was stricken. And they made His grave with the wicked” (Isaiah 53:7-8, NKJV). An innocent man, condemned to die for our sins.
“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. But If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5,7).
Sin represents darkness in Scripture. Matthew 27:45 says, “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.” Darkness represents the vile, evil sins placed upon his shoulders (Galatians 3:10-14). Jesus then breaths his last, and the worst sin of all mankind spreads across the land.
The lessons we learn from the cross are powerful.
First, the cross reveals our sins. Acts 2:23 says, “Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.” Isaiah 53:6 says, “And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Second, the cross reveals the love of God. Imagine driving with your daughter in a rural area. You stop in front of a deserted building to make a phone call. Suddenly, a man wrenches open your passenger door and demands to have your car. Frozen with fear, you pause. The angry man grabs your daughter and shoots her before your eyes. Tossing her aside, he curses and points the gun at your head. Trembling and terrified, you flee from your car.
Weeks later, the man is captured and sentenced to death for his horrific crimes. Yet before the execution could take place, you insist on being executed in his place.
This sobering scenario helps us grasp the true meaning of Paul?s words, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). Maybe we have not given enough thought to the fact that an innocent man died a brutal death in our place.
The blessings of God are poured out onto all men and women. Peter writes that “He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Yet stop and think of all the ungrateful, unkind people who ignore his sacrifice. What if you saved someone?s life and instead of being grateful, they hated the very sight of you? If so, we would know how Christ’s heart breaks daily.
The cross should move us to realize the enormity of our sins. If we have not been to God, then the blood of his Son is still on our hands. The cross of Christ is our plea and our pardon. Paul wrote, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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