31 March 2014 by Rev Dr Jai Kumar –
" 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."
The cross is the very heart of the Christian faith, and without the cross we have no Christianity at all. There is a lethal power that comes out of the cross. Unfortunately many prideful people including Christians have failed to grasp this truth. That power that cures every human sickness of the heart which is responsible for bringing chaos, problems and hurts to humanity. The POWER OF FORGIVENESS is the very core and foundation of Christianity. It is the ultimate solution to man's ultimate need! How could anybody dare to justify their rights when God Himself gave all He had unreservedly to save a rebellious race like us. Understanding and accepting the Message of the Cross has nothing to do with our human intellect and ability. It has only to do with God, His mercy and His Grace.
Despite God Himself showing so much humility, and sacrificing for us His only son for the forgiveness of our sins, yet we think it is only human and we continue to fight for our rights more often than we ought. The hardest time to be gentle is when we assume we are right and somebody else is wrong and very quickly and very easily we pronounce judgment on others according to their ACTIONS and we judge ourselves according to our INTENTIONS and in most cases we end up becoming bitter, hurt and sorrowful and that includes me as well. He had all the rights, yet He gave it all to us and took all our wrongs upon Himself.
What happened on Calvary's cross was the single most important event in all human history.
Is 53:6 NKJV.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
He knew no sin! He was totally innocent, a lamb without blemish, yet He said let me take the blame! I will pay the price for them to appease my God and meet the demand for the requirement of sin.
Rom 6:23 NKJV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God’s justice system demanded death as the ultimate punishment for sin. Why did Jesus have to die? Why would God put his own Son to death, especially to save people who had rebelled against him?
Heb 12:2 NKJV.
"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Sin corrupted mankind and crippled us with shame and we were literally left at a stage of curse and inferiority. But Jesus took it upon Himself and endured the cross and gave life and dignity to the human race once again.
SIN CRIPPLED MANKIND THEREFORE IT HAS TO BE DEALT WITH ONCE AND FOR ALL
Because God is holy, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. His justice demands that every sin be punished— All offences against God must be punished. That’s why sinners can’t simply say, “I’m sorry” and instantly be forgiven. Someone has to pay the price for it.
Even in this life a price must be paid for breaking the law. When people break a law in a system and if they are left to go unpunished, then there won't be any respect for the law anymore. The same principle applies to raising your kids. When you refuse to impose appropriate discipline on your children when they go wrong, you end up raising a bunch of criminals instead of responsible citizens.
The same is true spiritually. You know what? When sin is not punished, then it would seem there is no sin at all! God loved us so much that He was not prepared to let us go to hell therefore He devised a plan of salvation whereby He would remain holy and just, and still provide a way of forgiveness for guilty sinners. Somewhere, somehow, there had to be a place where grace and sin could meet. That place is the cross of Christ.
THE OLD TESTAMENT SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM
The sacrificial system had one major problem in the O.T. It provided temporary forgiveness because it was based on the blood of animals. We know that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin (Hebrews 10:4). That is why every year and year after year, the high priest would go in and do it all over again. The Old Testament system provided no permanent cure for sin (Hebrews 7:23-28). It was just an outward temporary cover and it did not touch the root of sin. That is why sacrifices of bulls and goats were being repeatedly carried out over and over again.
NEW COVENANT SACRIFICE
But when Jesus died on the cross, the blood that He shed once and for all touched the very heart of men, the root of sin. It was an inner cleansing; it was no longer an outward covering. It turned away the wrath of God and cleansed the sin of the entire human race. How could that be? In the Old Testament it is the blood of bulls and goats, in the New Testament it is the eternal blood of Jesus Christ the sinless soul which has eternal value in the eyes of God. That total perfect complete sacrifice that was able to INFILTRATE the root of sin.
Why did God do it this way? Because as an infinite God of infinite holiness, all sins committed against Him are infinite in magnitude. Only a gift of infinite value could turn away the infinite wrath of God. And only God Himself (in the Person of his Son) could make such an infinite gift.
What did He see in you and me that was so precious that prompted Him to give up His only Son to die in our place? To once again resurrect all the dead things in our life and make us alive in Him again. Once we walked in darkness and defeat and curse because of sin but God brought light and life into us once again. John.10:10b
So that God not only laid on Jesus the guilt of us all but He laid upon Him the punishment for the guilt of us all…
A DIVINE EXCHANGE TOOK PLACE ON THE CROSS
What happened on the cross was a divinely ordained exchange. Your keys to your life are contained in that revelation that transpired on that cross. Many of God's people today do not fully understand this truth and therefore they are grouping around in the dark and end up living defeated lives.
All the evil due to our rebellion came upon Jesus on the cross that all the good due to His sinless obedience might be made available to us. Or, to say it in another way, the evil came upon Jesus that the good might be made available to us.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2Cor 5:21 NKJV)
We are a people purchased by God through that one sacrifice of a sinless soul.
2 Cor 8:9 NKJV
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
HE SUFFERED REJECTION FOR OUR SAKES
Matt 27:46,50 NKJV
“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”
The Father hated sin so much that he turned his face away from his Son. At that crucial moment, the Son cried out with such desperate agony but the Father rejected that relationship. The Son couldn't take the separation, that rejection, between the Father and Himself for the first time in history. As far as the Father was concerned, He looked at his Son not as His Son at that moment but rather as a complete and total sin offering, and that broke the heart of Jesus. The heart of the Father was also broken because His only Son that sinless soul was sacrificed to rescue mankind.
HE WAS CURSED
Gal 3:13-14 NKJV
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
He became a curse for us by taking all our curses upon Himself, and in exchange poured out His blessings upon us so that we can appropriate the blessings of Abraham upon ourselves.
Think of it. In the death of this One Man, all the sins of the human race are fully paid for—past, present and future. As a result, those who believe in Jesus find that their sins are gone forever.
This is the heart of the gospel: God’s Holiness demands that sin be punished. God’s grace provides the sacrifice. What God demands, He supplies. Thus salvation is a work of God from first to last. It is conceived by God, provided by God, and applied by God.
GOD'S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT
“And are justified freely by his grace.”
The word “freely” literally means “without a cause.” Salvation comes “without a cause” in us. That is, God saves us despite the fact that He can’t find a reason within us to save us. Salvation is a “free gift” to the human race. There is nothing in us that causes God to want to save us. No good works, no inner beauty, no great moral attainment, no intellectual merit of any kind. When God saves us, He does it despite the fact that we don’t deserve it.
This is the doctrine of free grace. God saves people who don’t deserve it! God saves people who actually deserve condemnation! God saves people in spite of themselves and contrary to their record. It is “pure, abounding, astounding grace!”
John 14:6 Jesus said,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Every single thing outside of Jesus that tries to attain salvation through human goodness or by human performance will be utterly futile and will only lead to a place of eternal death and not to a place of eternal life.
Is 53:4 NKJV
“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses) And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.”
Note: Rev Dr Jai Kumar is an ordained & licensed minister of Covenant Ministries International N.J. USA. He is also the representative of Faith International Bible School for Malaysia & Singapore. He is the founder and senior pastor of Full Gospel Outreach Ministry KL, a member of ECCM, Spiritual Adviser & overseer of Full Gospel Christian Church KL. Co-founder and adviser of Kingdom Christian Fellowship, Subang Jaya, he is also the author of a book entitled, 'God's Time Clock.'
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