What is the meaning of the cross?
The meaning of the cross is a profound and strange definition that starts with the question: why would the creator of the heavens and the earth use an instrument of execution to demonstrate and redeem us back into His purpose and plans for humanity? It is about atonement, that is, the cross is about sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb: Jesus Christ: "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (E.S.V. , 2001, John 1:29). But why a lamb and why a sacrifice?
I recall Abraham's words to Isaac, "God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son" (E.S.V. , 2001, Genesis 22:8). It was almost like Abraham was speaking to us, the Gentiles, to all the nations of the earth, the for-telling of the ultimate sacrifice and burnt offering for our sins, once and for all in Jesus name! The ultimate sacrificial lamb came to earth, God's only son desiring "mercy, and not sacrifice...not to call the righteous, but sinners” (E.S.V. , 2001, Matthew 9:13). And why are we sinners? Is it not because of free will that we have the freedom to choose? To choose good or to choose evil. To die to self and live for Christ because there is no greater friend: "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (E.S.V. , 2001, John 10:11). We are his sheep if we hear his voice and respond.
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (E.S.V. , 2001, Romans 12:1). This is an amazing example set before us: Jesus Christ performed the greatest act of worship by giving up his life for ours, to see the glory of God's plan fulfilled through the most decisive sacrificial act one could deliver for humanity to God the creator. This is why the cross is the most conclusive moment that will ever be throughout all eternity, summarised in Jesus' last words: “'It is finished,' and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit" (E.S.V. , 2001, John 19:30). At that moment our Lord died, and fought for our souls, overcoming the devil, and lives "forevermore" because he has the "keys of Death and Hades" (E.S.V. , 2001, Revelation 1:18); and "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (E.S.V. , 2001, John 1:5).
So let our light shine knowing that Jesus has overcome death, that he has overcome sin, that he has fought "the good fight of the faith"(E.S.V. , 2001, 1 Timothy 6:12). , and has taken "hold of the eternal life" (ibid.), opening a door to heaven for me, for you, for all. That is why the cross is so significant. Without the cross, we would continue in death, but the cross of Jesus Christ brings everlasting life because of his resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The two angels of God spoke to the disciplines at the empty tomb of Jesus and asked them: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise” (E.S.V. , 2001, Luke 24:5-7).
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