The cross in itself is of little value. The cross itself cannot save us. It is what happened on the cross that saves us.
Jesus came to Earth as a baby, conceived of both a woman, Mary, and the Holy Spirit.
He lived a sinless, blameless life. He fulfilled the law that we could not.
God's punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). Someone had to die for us to become righteous in God's sight, but it had to be Someone who didn't sin.
Therefore Jesus became our Substitute, our living Sacrificial Lamb. Jesus was the only Sacrifice that wouldn't have to be repeated year after year.
The officials sentenced Jesus to death because they believed He blasphemed against God.
They beat Him with a thick cat-of-nine-tails thirty-nine times until his skin hung on the whip. They spit on Him. They nailed His hands and feet to the cross with big, stake nails similar to the ones that we use to put up a tent, and they dug a crown of thorns into His head.
God judged Him for all our sins--past, present and future. He judged Him with all our sicknesses, and all the curses that came from the law.
He died, went to Hell, where He took back the keys to Earth from satan who had gained them by deceiving both Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). This allow sin to come into this world (Romans 5:12).
On the third day, as a sign that the New Covenant had been made, Jesus rose from the dead (John 21:14).
For the first time in history, anyone who accepted Jesus (Romans 10:9-10), could become righteous in the sight of God not by our own works but by the shed blood of Jesus (II Corinthians 5:21).
For the first since the fall, humans could go boldly into the throne of grace and find grace and mercy in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16). All through Jesus' shed blood.
We cannot earn our salvation. We do not deserve it, but if we accept Christ (Romans 10:9-10), it is ours nevertheless.
God wants a relationship with us, but He couldn't have a relationship with us while we were dirty and in our muck. He had to made us righteous in His sight.
He had to judge and punish a sinless, blameless Person for our sins, then we could be righteous through the blood of that Person, Jesus.
He went through a lot of trouble to have a relationship with mere humans but that shows how much God loves us.
What is the power of the Cross, though?
When Jesus hung on the Cross, God judged Him for all our sins. When we accept Christ (Romans 10:9-10), God remembers our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12).
Jesus wasn't just judged for the sins we committed today and in the past but for our future sins as well.
All we have to do is "...confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV).
Once we do that, we are saved, we are now in right-standing with God (II Corinthians 5:21).
Now when God sees us, we are not filthy from our past and present. Instead we are covered by the blood of Jesus. He sees Jesus' shed blood that covers us instead of our sins. Now we are righteous in His sight through Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:21). How cool is that?
We are righteous. What does the Bible say about the righteous?
They prosper (Psalms 1:3). Their prayers are answered (James 5:16). They are not moved (Psalms 55:22). We have all the benefits of being righteous through Christ. We don't deserve them. We couldn't earn them. They are ours nevertheless.
We have two choices. One, we can act like we are righteous through the shed blood of Jesus as we truly are. Two, we can act as if we are still sinners in our muck and mire.
Think about this for a moment. Imagine a woman, a princess, dressed up in torn and dirty clothes, who lived on the street outside the palace.
That seems ridiculous, right? It seems absurd for a princess to wear tattered clothes and sleep on the streets, right?
Most of us are doing that. We are kings and priests (Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10)--children of the Most High God--and yet we are living way below our privileges.
God has entitled us to grace through Jesus' death, resurrection and the stripes He took on His back. Through Jesus, and not through our own efforts, we are to have God blessing (Galatians 3:14), healing (Isaiah 53:4-5, I Peter 2:24, Romans 8:11), delivering (Psalms 107:20, Psalms 91: 15) and prospering (III John 2) us. These are a part of our salvation package when we accepted Christ (Romans 10:9-10)..
Most of us are sick, broke and in trouble, and we think it is God's Will. We think that God is teaching us something or that God is somehow punishing us.
God judged Jesus for all our sins on the cross. He is not holding any of our sins against us. If we have accepted Christ, God sees us in right-standing with Him. We are special to Him. We are His children...and He wants to heal us, prosper us, deliver us and love on us.
The power of the cross is that through Jesus, we are going to Heaven when we died. It is that God judged Jesus for all our sins. It is that God has already forgiven us of every sin the day Jesus hung on the cross. It is that Jesus' blood has atoned for every sin we will ever commit or have committed.
In addition to that, Jesus paid the price for our health, our prosperity, wealth and our peace (Isaiah 53:5), so that we can have His peace (John 14:27), which in Hebrew is the word Shalom, meaning nothing missing, nothing broken. He paid for us to be whole here on Earth.
Most of us don't know that God is our Healer, our Provider, our everything. We should recognize that the gifts and the Giver are not separate. They are the same.
We need to focus on Jesus and what He did for us. We must see Him on the cross, taking our migraines or our shingles, our poverty, our problem. When we focus on Jesus, we will receive the full benefits of what happened on the cross. And that pleases God.
Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach. Her work has been published in 21st Century, SeaLetter, Christian Home and School, You! and many more online and offline publications.
To learn more about her, go to coachannagail.com
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