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EASTER WEEK DEVOTIONAL
Join us for our Easter devotional to prepare ourselves and our hearts for Easter!!
As we approach Easter, I would like to talk about Christ’s work on the cross and what it means to us.
To die by crucifixion was to die a most horrible, degrading, slow death a human being could ever face. To the religious Jewish mind, it was synonymous with being cursed by God. In the Scriptures we read: "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." (Gal. 3:13 & Deut. 21:23). But there is something powerful about the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." How is it the power of God? In the coming days I would like to share with you at least six truths in which it is the power of God.
The Power of the Cross Shows God's Holiness
God will not tolerate sin and sin is punishable by death. In Scripture we read, "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). God is holy and he cannot tolerate sin. Sin is completely opposite to God. God will not allow sin to co-exist with him.
The wrath of God is against our lies, our immoralities, our hatred toward others, our acts of cruelty and our disobedience toward God.
In 1 John 2:2 we read, “And he himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” (KJV). Propitiation means: “to turn away wrath”; to turn away God’s anger and judgment.
This truth brings us directly to the heart of the gospel: Jesus’ death turned away God’s wrath. God was appeased through Christ’s death.
God's anger was turned away at the cross. Christ brought us into a peaceful relationship with the Father (Rom. 5:1, 9). No one is excluded from the scope of God’s mercy.
The Power of the Cross Shows that We Are Justified
Jesus took the full weight of our sins. We are free from sin’s bondage. John the Baptist said of him, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29).
Christ took upon himself our sickness – our sin. We can live with a clean guilt free conscience. To be justified means that we are declared innocent and righteous. We are accepted by God. God forgives us and makes us right before Him.
Romans 5:9, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” He pardons all our sins and all moral wrongs that we have committed. That’s what Jesus did on the cross for us.
The Power of the Cross Shows that We Have Peace with God
We are fully reconciled with our Creator. We were once enemies of God and Jesus made us friends of God by reconciling us to God. Roman 5:1 says, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Also, in Romans 5:10-11 we read, “For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
We are no longer enemies but friends with God!
What an amazing blessing!
The Power of the Cross Frees Us from Satan’s Bondage
The work of Christ on the cross was powerful in gaining spiritual liberation for us. The cross was God's great rescue operation. He delivered us from the clutches of satanic power and destruction and bought us from the slave market of sin and hell.
He redeemed us! The Biblical meaning of the word redeem is: “to deliver from slavery or from captivity of an enemy by payment of a ransom.”
Human beings are deceived when they think that they are free without God. Those who are slaves to sin end up paying a terrible price. The waste of human potential and the erosion of human dignity is tangible evidence to this truth. Those in the shackles of alcohol, drugs; and in bondage to their lusts are those that are in spiritual darkness and oppression.
The greatest need is for a powerful spiritual deliverance. Only Jesus Christ can provide this. He reaches down to the root of human evil and weakness and sets us free. He sets us free from the works of the devil.
1 John 3:8 says, “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Jesus did that through the cross by redeeming us to God.
The Power of the Cross Shows that Christ Identifies with Our Suffering
Christ identifies with our suffering, pain, rejection and temptation. He knows what it means to be tempted, oppressed, and victimized. He experienced it on the cross.
Hebrews 2:18, “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
Dr. John Stott (great theologian) confessed, “I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross... In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it?”
Jesus is a God who allowed himself to bleed and to suffer. A God who was a true human being and who connects so much with human suffering. Christ identifies with us.
The Power of the Cross Shows How Much God Loves Us