Thursday, October 4, 2012

Accomplished by the Cross

Author's note: This will be a multiple-part series based loosely on what I am teaching the youth of the church where I serve. These posts will be brief because I want you to think more than read.

Jesus being executed on the cross and his subsequent resurrection is the center-point of the Christian faith. As Sally Loyd Jones says in the Jesus Story Book Bible:
"No the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his Palace, his throne- - everything - to rescue the one he loves."
Jesus rescued us by paying the penalty for our sins by being executed in our place. This is the focal point of the Christian faith and the Bible.

I cringe when I hear people speak about holding to and teaching "Christian Morals" (often couched as "being good"), but seem to forget about the cross. "Christian Morals" without the cross are empty, and pointless. We can try to be good people, but we cannot do it. By nature, we are sinners doomed for destruction. We have utterly rebelled against the God of the universe and because of that we deserve judgement.

"But" is a powerful word--a word that changes the whole meaning of a sentence. Often in the Bible the "but" transitions from what we are in ourselves to what we have been given by the grace of God.
A great example of this is found in Romans 6:23 which says, (emphasis added), "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (ESV).

We have problems, and the Gospel is the solution to our problems. 

So what exactly did Jesus accomplish for us on the cross? Everything that matters. 

Join us as we discuss these things in this blog series.

Questions for thought and discussion:

  • What things can we do to stop emphasizing "Christian Morals" and start emphasizing the cross?
  • Why do we find moralism so enticing and interesting?
  • What makes a focus on the Gospel so difficult?

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