The Magnificence of the Cross

Colossians 1:19–20 [widescreen]

The central event in both the natural realm and the supernatural realm is the Cross. What follows is an early draft excerpt from a chapter on the Kingdom’s mission from my book, Peace in Your House: Spiritual Cleansing of Life and Land.

Jesus came announcing God’s government was being established on earth. He demonstrated it and declared he was God. For this, he was executed.

Christ’s death on the Cross stands in the center of time, the fulcrum of human and spiritual history, and the seminal event of the cosmos.

Whether we refer to it as Christ’s death, his blood, the Cross or the crucifixion, through Jesus’ obedience, God accomplished everything. 1

The Love of God

The death of Christ is the supreme revelation of the love of God for you, me, and all humans who have ever existed and will ever exist. The Cross proves God’s love for us and because of God’s unstoppable love, we can be in relationship with him forever in shalom.

Sacrifice

The death of Christ was a sacrificial death. Jesus voluntarily gave his sinless life, became sin, and through Jesus’ sacrifice, God condemned sin to death. That Jesus would be used as Israel’s sacrifice was presaged by the Holy Spirit descending on him like a dove at his baptism. Doves were helpless animals that both represented Israel as a sacrifice and used in the Old Covenant sacrificial system to atone for sins. 2  Unlike the animal sacrifices in the Old Covenant, Jesus’ violent death removed sin forever. Through the blood, God has redeemed us, made us near to God, and we now have peace with God.  3

Vicarious

Jesus died for us, paying a ransom so that we could enter the Kingdom of God.  4

Triumphant

Through the Cross, Jesus disarmed and triumphed over the spiritual forces of darkness. If the principalities and powers understood what was going to happen, they would not have moved the Romans and Jews to kill Jesus. 5 On the Cross, Jesus sealed the fate of the principalities and power of the Domain of Darkness.

Propitiatory

The Cross appeases God, whom we have offended by our own actions. We all stand condemned by our own actions as guilty sinners in the presence of a holy God. Whether God’s law is revealed to us through Nature, our own conscience, or the Old Covenant Law, we knew we are guilty of sinning. God’s natural response to sin is wrath, which is the condemnation of death. Through the Cross, sin is atoned for and death assuaged. Reconciliation between God and us has been accomplished through the Cross and we no longer fear the wrath of God, but rather look forward to eternal life. Throughout biblical history and throughout all history, it appeared that God gave a pass to sin, which called into question the justice and righteousness of God. 6 But the Cross demonstrated justice and righteousness as well as reconciling us to the Father.

Redemptive

Through the Cross, God purchased us from sin and Satan. Before the Cross, we were condemned with death and thus belonged to Satan. After the Cross, we are blessed with eternal life, and now belong to Jesus. 7

Substitutionary

Jesus died as us. By faith in Jesus, you died on the Cross with Jesus. He didn’t just die for you, he died as you. Jesus alone knew no sin and being guiltless, he did not have to die. Instead, he died as us, and therefore, through faith, we all have already died. From God’s perspective, your mortal, sinful dying spirit – the totality of human existence from God’s perspective – is dead and buried. Jesus’ supreme act of love for you was to die as you... 8

Resurrection

..so you can live as him. Without the Cross, Jesus could not have died and been resurrected. Because you also died on the Cross, when God raised Jesus back to new life, you also were raised with him, born again, and made the Righteousness of God, citizens of the Kingdom of God.

Believe the Good News!

When you choose to believe this historical event really happened and why it happened, you have died with Christ on the Cross and have been raised again with Christ to new and eternal life. You are born again as a New Creation, transferred from the Domain of Darkness and into the Kingdom of God. Your old sinful flesh died on the Cross and now you can live as the Righteousness of God, pure and holy, with a heart of love towards others and with no sin dwelling in you.

When you are born again, you are born from heaven and stained by the blood of Jesus. Sin cannot touch you anymore and demonic forces have no right to attack you. When God looks at you, he sees a spirit that has been forever cleansed by the blood of Jesus and who will live forever. Since God sees things accurately, it must be true.

If you still sin, this is because your mind has not yet comprehended the truth of what has happened to you by the love of God. Your mortal flesh hasn’t caught up to how God already sees you. You must renew your mind and consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 9

Begin considering yourself from God’s perspective and live according to the spirit (how God sees you) and not according to the flesh (how you see you).

Notes:

  1. The first 7 points were adapted from George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, 464-479.
  2. See Lev. 1:14, Ps. 74:19, R. Alastair Campbell, “Jesus and His Baptism”, Tyndall Bulletine 47.2 (1996), 206.
  3. Rom. 5:9, Eph. 1:7, Eph 2:13, Col 1:20.
  4. 1 Thess. 5:9, Rom. 5:8, Eph 5:2, Mark 10:45.
  5. 1 Cor. 15:25-25, Col. 2:15
  6. Rom. 3:21-26
  7. Gal 4:4
  8. 2 Cor. 5:14, 21, Eph. 2:8,9, Rom. 6:1, Gal. 2:20
  9. Rom. 5:12