What the Cross Means to You and Me

March 29, 2013 | Tags:

Cross of Christ

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

-John 3:16 NIV

Today is what Christians call “Good Friday.” It is the day we remember the sacrifice Jesus made when he died on the cross for the sins of all humanity. It is a day to remember not only what he sacrificed, but what his sacrifice means to you and to me.

Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the tree they were not supposed to eat. “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned” (Romans 5:12 NLT). The law of Moses was given by God to show us what is sin. “It was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, ‘You must not covet'” (Romans 7:7 NLT). Following the law itself will never be enough to cover our sin. Doing good will never make us right before God, because no one can be perfect the way God is perfect. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10 NIV).

So, what can you or I do? Have you lied just once in your life? So have I. That means we’ve already fallen under God’s righteous judgment. We are already guilty of breaking the law. And there is a penalty you and I must pay since we have fallen short of God’s perfect standard of judgment. And that penalty is death and separation from God for all eternity. That is what hell is. Eternal separation from God. Without God, there is no light. There is no hope. There is no life. We cannot enter the presence of God–heaven–unholy and unclean. Only perfect holiness can enter God’s presence.

Since we have no way back to God on our own–by doing good works–God made the way for us. He sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to pay the penalty for our sins–a penalty we could never pay on our own. He went to the cross and died for us, taking all our sins upon himself. “Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:18-19 NLT).

And that wasn’t the end! Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the dead three days later to show his triumph over death and sin. That means he conquered death. That means we too will conquer death. For those who believe Jesus did all these things for us, they will die and live for all eternity with God in heaven. Then, when Jesus returns to the earth to reign, they will receive the same new bodies that Jesus received when he rose from the dead Easter morning. Perfect, glorious bodies, free of sin, pain, death, and sickness.

So my question to you this weekend is–have you made the conscious decision to believe that Jesus died on the cross for all your sins and rose from the dead? Have you agreed with God that you are a sinner, separated from Him, and cannot do enough good works to make up for all the bad things you’ve done? Have you accepted that it is by the grace of God you can receive His gift to you–forgiveness of all your sins and a right-standing relationship with Him–by doing nothing else other than believing it by faith? Then here is what God says you can do:

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”

For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

-Romans 10:9-10, 13 NLT

It is my prayer that this Easter weekend 2013, you make the decision to turn away from your sin and turn to God instead. For at that moment, you will be a new creation in Christ Jesus! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 HCSB). You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will dwell in you, and He will help you to follow God, to pray, and to understand God’s Word. He will change your life and you will fulfill the plans and purposes that God created you for.

Dear God, Thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to die on the cross on Good Friday. Thank you that He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday. Thank you for making a way for mankind to be restored to you, as Adam and Eve began in the garden before they sinned. Thank you for the promise of new life, the hope of the future, and eternity with you, where “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4 NIV). Hallelujah! Amen.

By Courtney Silberman

Be Sociable, Share!