Your Death on the Cross
Who was it that hung on the cross? It was a liar, an adulterer, a murderer, a thief, a fornicator, a greedy person, a hardened criminal, a selfish person, an abuser, an addict, and the list goes on and on. But how can I say this? Am I a blasphemer against our Lord Jesus?
Gal. 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” NRSV
Jesus hung on the cross for us, in our place. He died for all kinds of sin, for all kinds of sinners. Think you’re not a sinner? I once thought I wasn’t. Keep reading.
Gal. 5:19-22 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. NRSV
I was a young teenager when God spoke to me about my personal sins by leading a speaker at a youth meeting to use the Scripture quoted above. I had not done really bad things, but I saw myself in the list of sins in the verses above. We were very poor and I had jealousy and envy and sometimes anger about not being able to have things I wanted to have or live in the kind of house where I could comfortably invite friends over. I also had a lot of pride, which is probably why I was ashamed about our house and our poverty.
We were all in big trouble before the crucifixion of Jesus. But thank God:
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2: 24
I remember responding to an invitation the night of the youth meeting, to be cleansed from my sin. I told the Lord that I was wrong – I did have sin in my life – and that I was sorry. I asked for His forgiveness and He told me that because of Jesus death on the cross, I was already forgiven. It felt like a warm blanket of love had been placed round my shoulders that night. I have never doubted from that night that God loves me and that I have access to the God of the universe now through Jesus. I was re-born that night.
According to the Scriptures, all who have been re-born by the Holy Spirit of God were “crucified with Christ” on that cross.
Gal. 2:19-20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
You and I spiritually hung on the cross with Jesus – He felt our sin, our shame, our guilt. He took our punishment, our pain, our wounds into himself. We have been set free.
Rom. 6:5-6 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
Because Jesus was raised from the dead, resurrected, we who are born again by His Spirit also participate in that resurrection, both now and in the future when Jesus returns. The power that was unleashed in the resurrection of Christ is available to us to live the life we have been called to live – one of victory over sin in this earthly life and over death itself when the physical body “dies”. All this is through the gift of eternal life that was revealed in the resurrection of Christ and promised to all those who put their faith in Christ. Halleluiah!
Forget the Easter bunnies and colored eggs and chocolate candy. Praise the Lord that Jesus conquered death!
Happy Resurrection Day!!
©2012, Marcy Alves (edited 4/19/2014)
Posted on March 25, 2016, in Christian Growth, God Encounters, My Journey, Reflections and tagged Christ, crucifixion, death on the cross, Easter, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Jesu, Jesus, resurrection, Resurrection Day, sin, Son of God, the cross. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.