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Centrality of the Cross

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by TruelightUK, Feb 25, 2002.

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  1. TruelightUK

    TruelightUK Tilter at religious windmills

    This seems a good time of year to highlight what is an offensive stumbling block to the Jews, and pure foolishness to the humanistic wisdom of the secular philosopher, yet, to the Christian the very key to the Power of God in salvation.

    Jesus Christ, the incarnate, sinless Son of God was executed as a common criminal on a Roman 'gallows' as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

    The whole of His ministry pointed to that moment. More than that, even at the time of his birth, he was presented with a symbol of impending death - myrrrh for enbalming. Time and again he spoke - sometimes obliquely - "I have a baptism to be baptised with, and how I am contrained until it fulfilled" (Luke 12:50) - but often quite explicitly - "the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him." (Mark 10:34). Not surprisingly, the disciples were appalled at the idea, yet Jesus rebuked Peter as a mouthpiece of Satan for suggesting it should be otherwise, - for he knew he must suffer these things in fulfillment of prophecies such as Isaiah 53 (Mk 8:31,32; Luke 18:34). He tells his judges that no-one is taking his life from him - he gives it freely, as submission to his God-given destiny and mission.

    To the Bible- believing Jew it was unthinkable that the Messiah should be crucified as Jesus was, for they made no distinction between a wooden cross and a gallows tree - and the law clearly said the "anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse" (Deut. 21:22,23) - an how could God curse his chosen Messiah?! Yet, in the Book of Acts, the early Apostles deliberately emphasise the fact that Jesus was killed 'by hanging him on a tree' - as Paul was to explain in his letter to the Galatians, the whole crus of the matter being that "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us" (3:13).

    How can this be? What foolishness is this? Still today the mind of the philosopher cannot accept how such a barbaric thing could possibly work (I've had many a battle over precisely this at other Boards!) - yet there it is, plainly written throughout the Gospels, the Acts and the Epistles; Christ came into this world specifically to die a criminal's death he did not deserve, so that we, who by our manifold breaches of God's laws deserve only God's wrath, could be forgiven and set free.

    The Resurrection goes on to turn this apparent defeat into a triumphant victory - yet what is practically the first thing Jesus does on rising to meet his disciples? "Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself..'Did not the Christ have to suffer all these things...?"! (Luke 24:25-27)

    As the hymn writer put it "There was no other good enough||To pay the price of sin".

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  2. FFX

    FFX PS2 Chick with Passion

    Yup!! You said it!!

    Jesus has beaten death and hell!! We always need to remember this.

    We are now children of God, God has given us His strength and power to use for His glory...

    Hebrews 2:14-18

    Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through frear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

    We are free because Jesus died for us and rose again, defeating the devil, we are free from the bondage of death!

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