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What The Cross Brings

What The Cross Brings
 
Every Sunday when gather to worship God we partake of the Lords Supper. Many times we reflect up on how Jesus died on the cross for our sins. It from this concept that I started thinking more and more about what Jesus death on the cross brings for you and me. So this evening we are going to examine different blessing that we receive from Jesus dying on the cross.
 
Christ Death on the Cross Brings Redemption
 
The word Redemption means to buy back or to set free. During the 1st century when Christianity began the word redemption was associated with slavery because slavery was a part of everyday life back then. If any person was willing to pay the price, a slave could be redeemed and set free. Since the time that Adam and Eve committed the first sin in the garden of Eden the human race has always been a slave to since. Even God chosen race in the OT know as the children of Israel  struggled every single day with sin.  Sometimes they were faithful to the lord and others times they would completely turn their back on him. When you think about it every generation since the beginning of time has one thing in common we have all sinned. I think Paul sums up it up best in:
 
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Also notice what John says about this topic.
1 John 1:8   8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
 
There should be no doubt everyone who has ever lived and will ever live is a slave to sin. Of course this excludes Jesus. So we see a great need for the human race to be redeemed from the slavery of sin. But before redemption can occur a price must be paid. Therefore, the only way that Christ could bring redemption for the human race was to pay the ultimate price by allowing himself to be sacrificed on the cross so that we could be redeemed from our sins. You see there was no other way that we could be redeemed. In fact listen to what Peter says about this in:
 
1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;  18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,  19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.  
 
Notice we are not redeemed by anything that can found on this earth. Even if you took all of the most valuable possessions that we have they could never ever redeem us. Peter also makes it clear that our man made tradition certainly cannot redeem us. No it was only the precious blood of Jesus that is valuable enough to pay for our redemption.
 
Did we deserve this redemption? Did we do something for God in such away that he owed us favor?  Absolutely not!  If a rich man of the first century observed a slave that was honest, obedient, and a perfect model of a slave, he might say, "That man deserves to be free! I’m going to redeem him.” But this certainly is not the case when it comes to the human race. Man was guilty of sin, and didn’t deserve to be free, therefore our  redemption came through wonderful grace of God.
 
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7 Paul also wrote, "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus? (Romans 3:24).
 
Under the law of Moses, there was a continual struggle to deal with sin. God set up a priesthood, and the High Priest would offer a blood sacrifice from animals to deal with the sins of the people year after year. This was a very important system to the OT Jew, however true redemption from sin could not come from these animal sacrifices. True forgiveness or true redemption could only come through our high priest Jesus Christ.
 
But how does man gain access to this wonderful blessing of redemption that comes from the cross?
 
Romans 6: 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.  18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
 
So in order to be redeemed from sins we must obey the gospel. The Bible makes it real easy for us to choose what we will be a slave to. If we continue to be a slave of sin then it will lead to spiritual death and you will find yourself sharing a room with the devil and his angels. However if you choose to be a slave of righteousness that is one who will serve God and do their to obey his will then you will find yourself in heaven itself sounded by the glorious light of God where you will spend eternity in peace and love.
 
Christ Death on the Cross Brings Love
 
In John 3 Jesus encounters a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus. Jesus tells the man that he must be born again or he will not be able to enter the kingdom of God. Nicodemus did not understand this and he ask Jesus what he means. Well, after Jesus explains this new birth to him he goes on to explain the motivating force behind salvation.
 
John 3: 14 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  15 "that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  16"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
 
In verse 14 Jesus is talking about how he would die and how salvation would come. At one point the children of Israel had rebelled against God out in the wilderness and he sent fiery serpents out to bite the children of Israel. Moses prays for them and then God instructs Moses to make a serpent out of bronze and put it on pole and if someone get bitten then all they have to do is look at this bronze serpent and they would not die. Do you see the symbolism? Jesus had to be raised up on the cross before we could have forgiveness of sin.  The word loved used in verse 16 comes from The Greek word "agape” which is the strongest word in existence for love. It is a love that unselfish. A person who has this kind of love will put other people’s needs above their own. Jesus speaks of this kind of love in:
 
John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
 
Let me give you a example of this kind of love.
Once there was a little girl that needed a kidney transplant to save her life. A search was made, but a donor could not be found that was compatible to her. It was finally discovered that only her little brother’s kidney would save her life. When they asked him about giving one of his kidneys, he thought for a moment and then said that he was willing. They were rolled into the operating room side by side, and a few moments later the little boy asked the Doctor, "How long is it now before I die?” He had agreed to give the kidney thinking that it would cost him his life. This is a great example of agape love.
 
Jesus expressed this same kind of agape love for the entire human and he knew without  a doubt that it would cost him his life!
 
Again we might ask, "Did we deserve this kind of love?” No, instead we really deserve eternal punishment for our sin.
 
Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
 
Love motivated Jesus to go to the greatest depth of suffering, and to drink the bit cup of death so that sinners like you and me might be forgiven our sins. Therefore, every saved sinner can sing, "Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, Love lifted me.”
 
The Cross brings Hope
 
After Jesus had talked to the rich young ruler who wasn’t willing to give up his riches to follow Christ Jesus says this:
 
 
Mark 10:25”It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  26 And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, "Who then can be saved?”  27 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
 
Jesus makes it clear that you and I do not have the ability to save ourselves. We have to rely up God for our salvation. It is only through Jesus death on the cross that we can be saved. So from this we can clearly see that the cross has brought hope into all of our lives that we can be saved and have heaven as our home. Without Jesus death, burial and resurrection we would be without hope.
 
1 Corinthians 15: 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most miserable.
 
This would be a sad existence indeed. Could you imagine how different your life would be if all we had was this short existence here on this earth. Could you image facing all the hardships of this life alone. I know it would it make me absolutely miserable. To me this life wouldn’t be worth living with God in my life.
 
But thank goodness Jesus died for us and was raised from the dead so that we can rejoice in the hope he has given us. Notice what Paul says in:
 
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
As Christians we should abound that is to be exceedingly joyful in the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. 
 
1 Peter 1:13  3 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
 
1 Peter 1:20-21  20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you  21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
 
Let us never forget the hope that cross brings to our lives.
 
The Cross Brings Forgiveness
 
Another important thing that the cross brings to us is forgiveness of our sins. Notice what Paul says about Jesus in:
Colossians 1:14   in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
 
Even when Jesus was on the cross before he died he looked down on all the people that were mocking him and said:
 
Luke 23:34  "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
 
What a loving savior we have who would ask the father to forgive these people who had done nothing but hate him. When Jesus died and his blood was shed he made it possible for all to be forgiven that are willing to accept God saving grace by obeying Gods commands
 
When Paul and other missionaries traveled over the country preaching the gospel, they could remind sinners that Christ offered forgiveness. Paul told his audience at Antioch in Pisidia that Jesus had brought to the world forgiveness.
 
Acts 13:38  38 "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins;
 
If want to receive the forgiveness of our sins that the cross brings to us then we must obey the gospel call.
 
Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
 
Hear
Romans 10:17   17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Believe
John 8:24   24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
Repent
Luke 13:3   3 "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Confess 
Romans 10:9  9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Baptism
1 Peter 3:21   21 There is also an antitype which now saves us – baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
 
These are all the things that a person must do to accept the saving grace of God. But the Bible gets even more specific at when a person sins are forgiven.
 
Acts 2:38  8 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
 
Peter speaks very clearly here and says that baptism is the name of Jesus Christ is when a person receives the forgiveness of their sins.
 
Acts 22:16   ‘And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’
 
This talking about Paul conversion to Christianity. Paul at this point had believed in Jesus and called him Lord and we know that he had repented because he had went 3 days with out eating or drinking and he was praying to God continually. But what do we find out about Paul? We find out that he was still in his sins. What did Ananais tell Paul he must do to wash away his sins? He told him to arise and be baptized.
 
Now there is nothing magical about the water it simply the place the God has said he will wash away our sins with the blood of Jesus Christ. In fact I believe Paul puts it best in:
 
Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,  12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.  13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,
 
Notice it is by our faith in God that we can know that when we allow ourselves to be baptized we can truly belive that we are being buried with Christ and that  are sins are being washed away. With the same faith in God we can know that when we are raised up out of the water that we are being raised with Christ and all of our sins have been forgiven. With out a doubt baptism is the point that we receive the wonderful gift of forgiveness that the cross has to offer.
 
This is just one aspect of forgiveness. Because once you become a child of God you will still  sin from time to time but you only have to baptized one time. Once you are child of God you must simply repent and confess your sin to God and it will be forgiven.
 
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 



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