Last week we discovered why the Cross of Jesus is so important. The Cross opened the way for the redemption of mankind; the forgiveness of sins, freedom from Satan’s power, and ultimately new and eternal life. The Cross releases the power of God through the Gospel to make those who believe in Christ new creations. In one sense, the cross cuts off the umbilical cord to our old way of living in the world and causes us to live as members of God’s kingdom. This clear separation from the world is important for believers as we journey through life together with God and each other. It is important for the church today to keep the Cross in view. We find ourselves walking powerfully in God when we keep foremost in our minds.
The Cross Transforms
We need to comprehend the truth of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross, and receive all that is ours through it. I am reminded of the illustration of 10 million dollars being deposited into your bank account and all you need to do is to begin writing cheques. You are a multi-millionaire and no longer have to work to provide for life. All you have to do is spend the money. This is what Jesus has achieved on the Cross. In the spiritual world, we are rich in Jesus – “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Co 8:9). The poverty referred here signifies Jesus’ death on the Cross. We become rich, both in the spiritual and natural world as we experience this exchange on the cross.
We now have a fresh way of living considering Jesus’ accomplishments on the Cross. This new way of living is all about restored relationship with God.
· A New Ruler and Lord – Jesus Christ. No longer do we need to be ruled by the flesh and the devil – “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col 1:13).
· A New Friend – “I have called you friends,” Jesus said. (John 15:15)
· A New Relationship with our Heavenly Father - Jesus introduces us to our heavenly Father. “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9 KJV) The Cross reveals our good, good Father. “I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18 KJV).
· A New Comforter and Teacher – “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (Jn 14:26).
· A New Nature - We who were “slaves to sin” (Rom 6:6) are now “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Pet.1:3,4). “The law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2 NAS). “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17 KJV).
· Victory over Sin and Satan – “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Col 2:13–15).
· Victory over Death – “…but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Ti 1:10).
Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). The truth is the means to experiencing personal transformation. Considering our theme of the Cross, the truth is that Christ died, was buried, was raised, and is alive today. One of the basic truths I have had to remind myself of is this – “The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Ro 6:10–11). The phrase “count yourselves dead to sin” is an accounting term. In other words - Do the math! Jesus has bankrupted sin and credited our account with righteousness and grace.
By the power of the Cross we can enjoy our walk with Jesus, we can enjoy righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17). This abundant life is available to us all, from the newest believer to the oldest saint. We must apply simple and childlike faith with the understanding this abundant life has already been given to us through the Cross.
The last words of Jesus on the cross were, “IT IS FINISHED!” This statement is final and should remind us that the Cross with the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus paid the price for my sin so I don't have to! I thank God for the cross and the glorious blood of Jesus Christ.
There are two things that are essential to consider as we apply this message to our lives.
First, simply believe. Because of the finished work of the cross, Jesus has empowered me to live in righteousness. Through His blood, His death, and by the power of His resurrection I'm justified. Glory to God! That's where the praise begins and leads to worship!
Secondly, live each and every day understanding the power of the cross to transform your life.
Glory in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ! This is the way we sow to the Spirit and reap an eternal harvest in heaven and in this life. We have eternity before us.
Believe and live in the power of the Cross. And remember that Jesus is alive today.