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Why the cross?

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by lawndartboy, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. lawndartboy

    lawndartboy Newbie

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    Why did Jesus die on the cross? Could he have forgiven mens sins without a blood sacrifice?
     
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  2. Erth

    Erth The last(?!) unapologetic Christian

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    God is not bound by any necessity. God could have let things unfold in any way, but He chose to save mankind according to the fullest way, after His love for mankind.
     
  3. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    If we look to the Fathers and Scriptures, we see that sin entered into the world through Man and death was created. God created Man for theosis, for greatness in Him, for grace, for peace, but most of all----for eternal life!

    The Lord had to come to Earth, become Man like us and yet at the same time fully God so that He could die like one of us, and rise like one of us. Death was a journey God had to take to hallow it and defeat it.

    How the Lord wanted to accomplish death was His decision. To die on the Cross rather than being run over by a team of camels or choking to death at dinner or falling off a cliff makes sense. Why? The Cross is the ULTIMATE example of humility. The Lord's Passion is a walk of humility. It is shameful, humiliating, low, sad, and painful. The Lord wants us to be humble, to take up the difficult crosses of life, and to forgive our enemies. EVERYTHING Jesus wants us to do, He always first teaches us! Just like Jesus washing the feet of the apostles as good modeling, the Cross is the ultimate modeling not only for the martyr, but for any layman. We must endure shame rather than constant pride in the workplace, in our communities, in our families at times, you name it. For Christ's namesake, we must sometimes be humiliated. The Cross is the ultimate modeling lesson. Humility, enduring suffering, forsaking pride, forgiving our persecutors, staying strong in God's light, the Cross encompasses it all.

    Who can identify with the Cross? the condemned man, prisoners, terminal patients, cancer-sufferers, the little guy at work who doesn't fit in with the staff that mocks him, the ostracized, the lonely, the shut-in....you name it. This lonely, sad, humiliating road is a powerful one. And life is painful. For Christ to die in His bed wouldn't have been as impactful or deep, or didactic. I would also suggest that the Cross and Jesus as an innocent prisoner taken in chains, chastised, mocked, locked up, it all is quite symbolic of the state of the human condition---bound in sin, bound in death, walking the road to our captivity. But thanks to the Lord, the cuffs are broken!

    God had to die to rise again. He chose the toughest path. And it was HARD. But it was also didactic and full of layers. I don't think we can even begin to scratch the surface of the meaning and dimensions of the Cross....
     
  4. Joseph Hazen

    Joseph Hazen The Religious Loudmouth

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    Could He? I actually had an entire class on that point this semester, sort of. The ultimate point is Christ has been crucified on the cross from all eternity. Chronologically we experience it within a timeline and sequence of events, but God revealed Himself as the Crucified One. It is an essential part of His eternal nature. If we start talking about a God Who wasn't crucified, we have no reference point to connect that God with the One True God Who chose how to reveal Himself. ("The Mystery of Christ" by Fr. John Behr explains this more thoroughly with Biblical and Patristic support).

    Ultimately, to save us God had to die. I can't know if He could have done it differently, but the way He did do it is/was one of the most painful, humiliating ways to die. God can therefor meet us at any level of pain and humiliation. That's as much as has been Revealed.
     
  5. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3.18). Hebrews chapters 9 and 10; and Romans chapter 3 are also very relevant.
     
  6. Yeshua HaDerekh

    Yeshua HaDerekh Men dream of truth, find it then cant live with it

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    Because Isaiah 53...
    The wages of sin is death. We all suffer the consequences of Adam & Eve's sin. He was lifted up between heaven and earth on a pole or stake (stauros) like the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14). In Deuteronomy 21:23 it states that "cursed of God is everyone who hangs on a tree." Sinless, He did not need to die as we do. He gave His life and blood to cover (kippur) our sins. There are many, many, reasons why...from Genesis through Revelation.
     
  7. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    one of the reasons, from Fr Thomas Hopko, is that when you love someone you identify them on the lowest level. to a first century Jew, there is nothing lower than to be wrongly accused and tried, hung on a tree by Gentiles outside Jerusalem, and in the prime of your life with no money, land, or children. let alone the pain of the flogging, beatings, mockings, and the Cross (which was the the most torturous form of execution).
     
  8. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

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    Also, for Christians to have faith in the resurrection, there had to be absolutely no question that He had in fact died. Thus, a public crucifixion at the hands of the Romans who did not mess about when it came to putting someone to death. We know without a shadow of a doubt that He died and subsequently rose again from the dead.
     
  9. truefiction1

    truefiction1 Fool

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    Because of its psychological workings upon believers.
     
  10. Chris12

    Chris12 Newbie

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    Simple, because sin entered into the world through one man, so one man to remove the power sin has over us.

    That is it.

    Why did Jesus die the way HE did? Everything about this is symbolic. I will show you the dream I had where I was shown what Jesus is and what Jesus means..

    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif]The dream is as follows and I was commanded at the end of the dream to tell the people the dream, so I wrote it down:[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif]I was with my brother and it was set at some future point in my life...yet I didn't feel much older than I do now.

    My brother and I were at the airport and we were late. True to the nature of my brother, he was busy telling me how being late was all my fault and trying to make me feel guilty for it. On the other hand, myself, I was just trying to get us to the plane.

    The airport was packed, there were HUGE lines just trying to get inside the airport, and more lines once you were inside to get through security and to the plane you needed to be on. We were late. No way were we getting through all that mess of humanity to get to our plane on time. One would have imagined all of humanity was there trying to get into the airport there were so many people.

    I knew we needed to make that plane, it seemed like life itself depended on it. So I told my brother lets go around the lines, and try and make it through security and make the plane before it leaves. So we picked up our luggage, we each had a suitcase and I a small carry on, and we went to another entrance where we were able to get inside the airport while avoiding the line. We had to get upstairs to get to a proper terminal, so I used the elevator thinking it would be faster than trying to walk it.

    When we got in the elevator none of the buttons were working properly and we ended up on the wrong floor but I knew if we stayed in that elevator we would never make it. Once we got off the elevator I was a bit lost, and knowing we were running out of time I found a security
    guard, he was a pleasant looking black man.

    I walked up to him and told him we were going to miss the plane, and could he help direct us to the
    proper terminal so we could try to still make it. Well we found a wonder in him, because he just took me by the hand and said you just follow me – your one of my people and I wont let you down.

    I assumed in the dream by what he said it was more like he was eager to help another American or something, since our races are different, or it could be as someone once told my husband, brothers from another mother..
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua, serif]But take us by the hand he did, and he guided us through all the mess and took us straight through security to the terminal we needed. He took my luggage and made sure it got underneath the plane.. and I got loaded up, just in the nick of time!”[/FONT]



    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] That is the first half of that particular dream, and the part of the dream which pertains to what I am discussing here, so I will end this now, and then give everyone the interpretation of the dream as I saw it the next day, because it took a full 24 hours before the Holy Spirit gave me the dreams interpretation. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] The airport represented crossing from this life into the next and all the people getting sorted for either heaven or hell. There was a time limit on accepting and receiving salvation, and my getting there on time meant I did make it into heaven after all. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] The elevator and trying to get around the crowds, represented all the short-cuts I had spent my life trying to take to get into heaven. All the technicalities I had been trying to get there on. The buttons taking me to the wrong floors and wrong areas showed all the choices I was making were not getting me there, in heaven there are no technicalities, there is a definite plan for salvation laid out for us by God HIMSELF and if we miss it we miss it. Any thing we try to do that is from ourselves will only get us further from heaven, and will only result in us not getting in.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] I had spent my life trying to get myself in, and that was not God's way – therefore it was destined to fail. But God's plan is there, near the information booth, waiting for HIS people. If we but ask, HE will help us get there. He will get us through security even though we are all late, lateness representing our inability to do so in our humanity, and he will tear down every obstacle and take even our luggage (sin) for us, and help us safely get into heaven. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Him showing up in the dream as a black American, to a different race of American, represents our differences, as well as our sameness. The fact we are from the same country, meant that we are both human, and showing up as a different race, illustrates for us the part of HIM that is like God.. the part we lack in and of ourselves. Only HE has that. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] But he is there to take us by the hand, help guide us right, do everything for us that we need done, and get us to heaven because HE cares for us.. we are, after all, HIS people. He chose us, because of what HE is, not because of what we are. He is faithful and true in HIS promises. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] How can we not praise HIS HOLY NAME? To the Jews He came down from heaven, as a child of promise, and gave his life as ransom for us all, free and slave, Jew and Gentile both. How Great and Faithful is HE who did this? [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Yet daily, we reject HIS precious gift. Immediately upon receiving the interpretation of my dream I fell to my knees and asked Jesus into my heart as Lord and Savior. A free offer that I was taking, And so I did become that day a brand new Christian in Christ Jesus. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Now that we understand the meaning of Jesus's life and what a savior is, what is the meaning of that death on the cross? This thing too, must therefore be explained well to our understanding. I have now accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, and now HE begins talking to me some, and guiding me more. I began reading the bible yet unable to concentrate well because of this absolute joy and complete peace that was inside of me. I could not stop singing HIS praises with such joy! I had never felt such happiness, not one day of my miserable life did I ever feel such peace and joy! Yet.. it gets even better than this! [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] What happened in that death, and upon that cross, is part of the promise. Is part of the salvation God gave to us freely. He must certainly suffer in body, the way we suffer in body in order to share in our humanity. Otherwise HE would be angel, and not one of us. All the torture, the nails, the thirst, the feeling of being forsaken by God, all of this is part of our human condition. This represents what life experiences we have. Separated from God, pain of the flesh, rejection from even men, thirsting after righteousness yet in body denied. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Without that, it never could have been said of HIM, He is one of us, or we are HIS people. The veil which came down with the sin of Adam, must need then be rent and rendered to no avail by one like Adam, who came down perfect and Holy from heaven, yet fully human in condition. There must be one who could take on our humanity and conquer the power of sin and death over all.[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Through one man, Adam, came enslavement to sin, and through the other man, Christ Jesus, freedom from same. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] So, Jesus job, and goal, was to take away the power that sin has over us. To nullify it. He took on humanity to do this and overcame it. Then sent us the Holy Spirit as his way to communicate with us continually, the same way Adam had in the garden. Daily through the Holy Spirit, we walk and talk with God, we live much like Adam did prior to sin entering into the world. We are given back our place with God, our place in the garden while still on earth. IN this life.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif]
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif]But – there is more. Because that is the reason, but now for the understanding of the fulfillment of the law. And what other part is our part in order to get it. This is the part many Christians miss. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Jesus came to free us from the power that sin has over us, while we are slaves to sin. He came to free us, to nullify the veil of sin with His nullification. But we have to accept our part in this, because Grace must be fully accepted, and as Jesus said, In order to share in my Life, you must also partake in my death. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] He died, so that we might rise with him to new life. He took down the veil and rent it asunder, so that we might have the ability to be presented holy just as Jesus is Holy before God. In our own humanity we are incapable. Because just as Jesus was born under sin, lived, then died and resurrected to life, so must we also be born under sin, live then die to this world so that we may resurrect to New life with[/FONT] Christ Jesus.


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Through Jesus, we can live holy lives, and loose the barrier between us and God that sin provides. This is the baptism of death that Paul spoke of. Through faith in the fulfillment of God's promise, we take our sins and the things of the world we love, and we give them all to Jesus because HE alone conquered death. We cannot do this in ourselves, we can only do this now that we have invited Jesus into our heart as Lord and Savior and can only become those who overcome sin with HIM, by partaking in his death in spirit. To live HIS life, we must now die HIS death..[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] We are held hostage by sin, and to become free, we must offer our sin freely up to HIM, and allow HIM to take the burden upon HIMSELF since HE alone overcame and then die to the things in this world that men hold above God.
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] What sin necessarily is apart from Mosaic law, since Jesus is the Righteous King that Abraham gave tithe, in Jesus then, through HIS death the law was reverted back to its beginnings, back to God's law, and sin are those things we hold above God. Love is the new covenant, love of God first and foremost, then to love our neighbor as ourselves. These two things are what hinges all the laws, and all the prophets. Everything from beginning to now was about those two things. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] If you truly love a thing, nothing gets between you and that thing you love. God is saying, I want to be that thing for you, because I loved you first, because you are my people, and I loved you also, because you are my creation. So let's make HIM our first love, before anything else in the world. Before love of ego, love of pride, love of anything that puts up those barriers. If someone is hungry and begging in the street for food, what would you want someone doing for you, then do it for them. If the whole world did this can you imagine what a beautiful world this would be?[/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Yet.. this is HIS plan for us people, just peace and happiness in HIM. This is a wonderful thing, so, though with free will comes the occasion for troubles coming at us, we can still walk in the perfection of Light, and show HIM to the world. Its a better way for man, and our job to live it, to breath it, to be what our Creator would have for us. Has what we wanted for ourselves gotten us anywhere in this life, really? If we are being perfectly honest with ourselves, what profit did not obeying HIS plan have for us? [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif]So lets now reason together, and give it all to Jesus the Messiah. Take all our burdens, oh you who are heavily burdened, and give all your sins to HIM. Gather up the sins you have, those things HE is telling you now that you don't need. He will tell you whatever yours are. For each man these things are different. They simply are the things which create a barrier between you and God. It is not the thing which makes it a sin, but it is how you place it before God that becomes the sin. You have thus violated the commandment to Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, and all your soul and have no other Gods before HIM. For one man his wealth, for another his pride, for another his addiction, for every man a different thing. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Life in HIS Kingdom is one of moderation. One devoid of excess and one that puts HIM first. So now we know in ourselves we cannot do this thing, we cannot stop at all, at all. That is okay, because HE took it for you, HE will now carry your burden and take it from you. He who overcame, who now lives inside your heart, Already took that burden of sin from you. It happened 2000 years ago. The work is finished, all things complete. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif]It is finished! He cried! [/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  11. Chris12

    Chris12 Newbie

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    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Continued:

    Take the sins you carry, and give them to HIM at the foot of the cross. Lay them all right there at HIS feet, HE who shares with us our pains, He who shared with us our desire to live Holy, He who shares our humanity. Lay them down my brother.
    [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Now get on the cross with HIM, and die HIS death. He already took the pain, He already took the thirst, He already took it all and paid the price, now your faith in HIM will be refined just as gold is refined in the fire. Oh ye of little faith, HE told the people, you cannot do this in yourself, in the old man. You can only do this in the new man, in the Risen Savior. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] It already happened, you were called, set apart, and chosen. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." —Romans 8:29 [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] In God's reckoning of time the you of the future already did this. Go get the person who you are in your future, you the called one's of God, do this in Christ Jesus because through HIM all power is given, and become over-comers of this world in HIM. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] He did the work, you do not have any work to do, just have faith in the finished work, and know that your burden is gone, carried by Him.. For Paul and for me, it helps to say I am crucified with Christ. You do not literally die, but it is a death of spiritual nature. Picture the cross and the death in your minds eye if need be, and give it all to HIM. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] You don't need to reach for that pride, you don't need to reach for that wealth to comfort you, you don't need the addictive habit. Put it all on HIM, and be free from your sin. Be free from any and all power that sin had over you, and then rise to new life in Christ Jesus. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Experience the spiritual death, so that you may partake in the new life with HIM. Walk in the garden with HIM who carries your load, talk with the God of all creation anytime day or night. Have every need met without need of asking. Be ye therefore Children of God. Walk in the Light. Shun the Darkness of your adversary. Be ye Holy even as He is Holy. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Its not you doing it, its all HIM. This is the meaning of savior. This is the meaning of life. This is going to be your life more abundant. [/FONT]


    [FONT=Book Antiqua, serif] Did you falter? That is okay, because HE promises forgiveness, start again. I am crucified with Christ. Please Lord forgive me, I tried to do this in and of myself. I forgot how badly I couldn't do this in myself for a minute, and I had doubt, I lacked faith in your completed work. Please Lord I believe, now help my unbelief. Take it to Jesus on the cross again. [/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  12. sunshineforJesus

    sunshineforJesus is so in love with God CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    This is amazing.
     
  13. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

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    Uh, Chris, one word, bro---BREVITY! Dude, look into it! :p

     
  14. Chris12

    Chris12 Newbie

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    If it helped you guys just share it with others. This is important for us to know - and practice.

    sunshineforJesus = you too.

    And thank you for the compliment, but I cannot take the credit. This was the how the Holy Spirit showed it to me. All I did was pass it on..

    you pass it on too. Its free to us... pass it on freely and in love. BUT.. no beating people up over it! If someone doesn't want it.. then okay.. they have the right to say no..

    but personally... now that I am there.. I would not trade this for all the riches of the earth. I would become a happy bum if it meant keeping this!

    Yet..HE doesn't ask it... just moderation in all things, and love first.
     
  15. Joseph Hazen

    Joseph Hazen The Religious Loudmouth

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    Non-Orthodox guests are respectfully reminded to refrain from preaching on our board. Even if you believe it to be something all Christians believe, you may be wrong and misstate or portray our beliefs incorrectly. For those who come here to learn about Orthodoxy your posts can be confusing.

    For the Orthodox answers to this question, readers should look to the first pages of responses and be sure to look at the faith icons of those who have posted.
     
  16. sunshineforJesus

    sunshineforJesus is so in love with God CF Ambassadors Supporter

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    God bless you Chris and thanks for being obediant to Jesus.
     
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