Actually this is a day late as the day’s activities with church and family precluded my time at the computer. I was glad for the break! I hope Resurrection Day was a blessed one for you and your loved ones. Here is Chap 2 of my article which appeared in The Lookout (Standard Pub) a few years ago. I hope it is a blessing to you.
2. The cross reveals the wisdom of God in offering men the only effective scheme for their salvation.
The power of God was revealed on the cross. The blood spilled on the cross itself does not save us, however. It is a symbol for what is most important —the suffering of Deity. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (I Peter 1:24)
The Savior is found in the suffering and agony of the cross. Jesus Christ had to suffer and die a despicable death on the cross to save us from our sins. No other Being could have bridged the gap between sin and sanctity. It had to be the Son of God. A savior without the cross would be no savior.
At the cross we are emptied of any reason for boasting of ourselves. When we recognize through the cross what God has done for us, we have inner peace. Accepting forgiveness at the cross shows us what it means to be a follower.
The Apostle Peter rejoiced in the cross on earth and in heaven. Only the love of Jesus Christ on the cross had any glory for him: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.” (I Peter 1:3-4)
Unfortunately, Peter wasn’t always clear about the meaning of the cross in his life. Before Jesus’ death, Peter thought he knew what it meant to be a cross-bearer. He imagined what the messiah should be. He thought he had the strength on his own to stand with Jesus and fight with him to the bitter end.
But self-made faith caused Peter to be vulnerable to a fall from his greatest failing– inconsistency. As a result, Peter ended up not being the follower of the cross he thought he would be. Yet, the cross redeemed Peter. He ended up being a true Rock of the church, respected throughout the centuries as a humble servant of Christ’s.
From Peter we learn the perils of trying to bear the cross on our own. To follow the cross we must come in repentance, aware of our weakness and our inability to deal with sin and death. Like Peter, we must always desire to be restored and forgiven.
When God hears the prayer of a follower who desires godly sovereignty, He faithfully restores such a one to righteousness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) God’s grace compels this passion of the cross and leads us to salvation through the only means possible.
~ to be cont’d here next week: “Part 3 and final section — “The Significance of the Cross”
Has this article helped you? If so, I’d love to hear about it!
Have a great day!