This week, we turn our thoughts to the cross and the empty tomb as Easter approaches. I love plastic eggs filled with candy, but Christ didn’t die and rise again to give us a holiday. He endured a shameful death because there was no other way to rescue us. There was no other way to reverse the separation from God caused by our sin.
Does it matter that over 2,000 years ago, Roman soldiers carried out a routine death sentence for a convicted criminal named Jesus of Nazareth?
It only matters if that criminal was actually guiltless. It only matters if He was fully human and fully divine. It only matters if His death satisfied God’s just demands on behalf of guilty sinners. If none of these things are true, it was just another day in the Roman Empire.
But if the man who hung on the cross that Friday afternoon was truly the Son of God, then when He uttered the words, “It is finished,” everything changed. Consider this list of the ways Christ’s cross impacts us:
Christ was betrayed so you could be reconciled to God. (Romans 5:10)
Christ was taken captive so you could be set free. (Matthew 26:50, Galatians 5:1)
Christ poured out His blood so you could be filled with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 26:28, Romans 8:11)
Christ was falsely accused so you could be free from the accusations of the evil one. (Matthew 26:59-60)
Christ was sacrificed so you could be rescued. (I Peter 1:18-19)
Christ was taken outside the city gates so you could be brought into God’s kingdom. (Matthew 27:33)
Christ was forsaken so you could be accepted. (Matthew 27:46)
Christ was disrobed so you could be clothed in His righteousness. (Isaiah 61:10, Matthew 27:35)
Christ became sin so you could be made righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Christ was wounded so you could be healed. (I Peter 2:24)
Christ was mocked so you could be welcomed. (Matthew 27:39-44)
Christ was condemned so you could know no condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
Christ became like the guilty so your guilt could be removed. (Matthew 27:37-38, Psalm 103:12)
Christ was separated from the Father so you never will be. (Romans 8:38-39)
Christ died in the darkness so you could walk in the light. (Matthew 27:45, John 8:12)
Christ became cursed so you could be free from the curse. (Deuteronomy 21:22-23)
Christ was humiliated so you could be glorified with Him. (Romans 8:17)
Christ was rejected so you could be adopted. (Romans 8:15-16)
Christ felt the sting of death so you could be freed from its power. (I Corinthians 15:55-57, Matthew 27:50)
Christ was punished so you could be pardoned. (Micah 7:18)
Christ wore a crown of thorns so you could receive the crown of life. (Matthew 27:29, James 1:12)
Christ experienced God’s wrath so you could be spared from it. (Romans 3:25)
Christ was the perfect Passover Lamb so you could pass from death to life. (John 1:29, Colossians 1:13)
The cross of Christ matters. It’s good news for sinners like you and me, because the One who proved His love for us will never fail to keep His promises. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)!
This list of benefits of Christ’s cross originally appeared on this blog in April 2014.
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