Jesus said that he had come to "give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). Resurrection is self-sacrificial. It might be better to say that the Resurrection is concealed within the Cross. When Jesus said, ‘Come to me', it was not a casual suggestion or a vague ‘take it or leave it' offer, but a serious and firm instruction. Firstly, it is a genuine and loving invitation. This is easier to understand, as to "atone" means to deal with an offense so that the offender and the person offended can be "at one." Only hours before, when his closest friends were about to desert him, he had assured them, "I am not alone, for the Father is with me" (John 16:32). His death did not conclude his life; it crowned it. was voted 'Best Christian Book' in the inaugural UK Christian Book Awards held in 2001. If for some strange reason the Roman or Jewish authorities had removed the body from the tomb, they would have produced it as soon as Jesus' followers claimed that he was alive again and the Christian church would have collapsed on the spot. Answer: The resurrection of Jesus is important for several reasons. There is power in what Jesus did on the cross – power that sets us all free. Personal Benefit #4 – Because of the resurrection there is a Church and gifted persons – like you – within the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:21-23, 4:7-11, 16; 1 Corinthians 12:4). It was a declaration of his deity. (Matthew 27:46). It is only by God's grace that you are being given the present opportunity to respond to his invitation, obey his command and lay hold on the promises of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life that he is making to you at this very moment. This enables him to receive back into his favor the person who committed the offense. THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, THOUGH IN CONTRAST, ARE IN CLOSE ASSOCIATION. Neither setting the finest example nor following it can make sinners right with God. You may receive many invitations of one kind of another. As you do, you will truly understand the answer to the question, "Why the cross? Dr. John Blanchard is an internationally known Christian author, and his twenty-four books include two of the UK's most widely used evangelistic publications, Right with God and Ultimate Questions. Immediately prior to his arrest and execution, he told his disciples, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified," and went on to say, "for this purpose I have come to this hour" (John 12:23). What Is the Kingdom of God? The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the power of this final resurrection into glory. The ransom price to bring redemption to helpless sinners was nothing less than his death in their place, and he paid it in full, setting prisoners of sin-free to live in a way that is pleasing to God. When I turn on this switch power in the form of electricity flows through the switch and into the lightbulb, thus giving us light. Why? The gospel of Jesus Christ, which is His teachings, death, and resurrection, is the power of God unto salvation. It always seems to demand life’s most cherished dimensions and details. Christians often have a joyful sense of God's presence as they die, yet for Jesus, exactly the opposite was true because at that moment he was experiencing not merely physical death but spiritual death. They help us to understand how spiritually poor we are by nature and how rich we can become by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. His resurrection changed everything, and his divine power over death proved that he was exactly who he claimed to be. The evil witnessed in Auschwitz and Birkenau could not destroy the power of the Cross or the reality of the resurrection; neither can the evil we witness today being thrust upon life and family destroy what God has in store for His children – for those who love Him. The opportunity to do so lasts only for as long as the "sun" of one's life is in the sky — and nobody knows when it will set. 4 Session Bible Study Good Friday and Easter are the very essence of Christianity. If Jesus had not been raised from the dead after living a perfect, sinless life, the only conclusion we could draw is that in the end, evil permanently wins and good is destroyed. This comes across powerfully when we read that "Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God" (1 Peter 3:18). It seems that the cross never kills the ignored or tolerated parts of our life. “Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life. The basic meaning of the word is very straightforward and in relation to the death of Jesus is extremely important. All who respond to it are promised that they will spend eternity in God's glorious presence in heaven, where there will be no more trials or traumas, fear, or failure, sin or suffering, disease, decay or death. ", The Bible's first answer is that Jesus "was declared to be the Son of God in power … by his resurrection from the dead" (, It showed him to be everything he claimed to be. For on the cross, God plays with power. If you returned and saw your guarantor walking the street as a free man you would know that the debt you had incurred had been paid in full on your behalf. (3) He works in power today on earth through his Word and Spirit. Max Lucado – “No Wonder They Call Him The Savior” “The cross. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself... What Christ’s resurrection means for us is that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. Without the pain and reality of the cross, without the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf, without the power of the Resurrection and his final victory … If you are willing, I will help you to be put on the cross." They are in point of time. German theologian Klaus Schwarzwäller reclaims Christ’s cross and resurrection as God’s wonder and mystery. 7. The power of God in the cross of Jesus can be understood in many ways. To those who were concerned about their eternal destiny, Jesus said, "Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. ", [Editor's note: Taken from "Why the Cross?" As the American theologian, R. C. Sproul puts it, at that moment the figure of Jesus on the cross ‘was the most grotesque, most obscene mass of concentrated sin in the history of the world'. In keeping with that, God presents Jesus' resurrection as a solemn pledge that He will also raise us up through Jesus Christ. He alone can give you spiritual life and then sustain you day by day as you seek to live for him. His resurrection changed everything, and his divine power over death proved that he was exactly who he claimed to be. • Jesus on the cross, bearing our sins, gives us power to die to sins. • By the wounds inflicted upon Jesus in his scourging and at the cross, we … Jesus "was declared to be the Son of God in power … by his resurrection from the dead" I have never forgotten that. If not, call upon him now, asking him to have mercy on you and to enable you to lay hold on the promises of the gospel. (I Can't Tell Sometimes), Tapping into God's Strength by Waiting on Him. Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy. For the Joy Set Before Us In other words, for the joy that was set before Paul, he sang in the jails and loved the jailers. Reconciliation means bringing together those who are separated for one reason or another. PHILIPPIANS 3:10-11 05/31/95 Go over to light switch. This is why the apostle Paul claims, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). To believe in the resurrection is to believe in God. As there was an armed guard of Roman soldiers at the tomb, Jesus' followers could not have stolen the body, nor would they have wanted to as it was buried safely in a friend's grave. The "trust" that Jesus asks for in the Image is not a passive thing. April 20, 2003. His death was certainly an impressive example of meekness, forgiveness and faith, but it was much more than that. Some years ago I was in Greece at the time of a general election. Everything is different because he has done so. He says the same to you at this very moment. The answer lies in the earth-shattering truth that on the third day after he died and was buried Jesus rose from the dead. For millions of Christians remembering these events continues to be an important part of every day life. By nature, we are under the ‘curse' of God's holy law, which pronounces us guilty in his sight. Historically, Christians use seven major words to summarize the Bible's teaching on what happened when Jesus died. I have been to Buckingham Palace once as a tourist, but never at Her Majesty's invitation. The cross is the key that unlocks our hearts and reopens our connection with our Creator. The best way to know the power of Christ’s resurrection in our married life is to go to the cross. In the pattern of our Lord, we cannot taste the power of the Resurrection without first going the way of the cross. Instead, in his righteous anger against sin, God the Father deserted, rejected and punished him. It is a saving power, a reconciling power, a re-creating power, a transforming power. This is what it means to live the crucified life. He gives the same invitation today. What do the cross and resurrection mean for us? Copyright © 2021 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. It is also, as Pope Francis has told us, a healing power. His death on the cross was the essential ransom price so that God's justice could be satisfied and the sinners in whose place Jesus died set free. The cross and the resurrection show that freedom promised is now fully available in Jesus Christ. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Jesus provides the answer. The Cross and the Resurrection. To those concerned about their need to get right with God, but struggling under a mountain of rules and regulations imposed by the religious authorities, Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). To those who found life empty, without meaning or purpose, Jesus said, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). This is why the apostle Paul writes, "While we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son" (Romans 5:10) and tells early Christians, "You who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13). The symbol of Christianity is an empty cross because the Bible's glorious message is that Jesus is alive today, having triumphed gloriously over sin and death. This explains why, as he was dying, Jesus cried out, "It is finished" (John 19:30). “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36 … The Bible's answer is that in his death Jesus was bearing sin's penalty (which he did not deserve) in the place of others (who did). As Jesus drew his last breath, "The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom" (Matthew 27:51). How do we know the price Jesus paid was accepted and the debt paid? Are you ready to meet your Maker? He issues the same invitation today. The Bible's first answer is that Jesus "was declared to be the Son of God in power … by his resurrection from the dead" (Romans 1:4). Study Texts: 1 Corinthians 15:17-19, Philippians 3, 4-11. As the Bible warns you, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring" (, God says, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die…?" Yet God (the innocent party) has taken the initiative and done something astonishing to enable man (the guilty party) to be at peace with him by dealing with the root cause of the rift — human sin. Here are a few of the obvious pointers: The Bible has "many convincing proofs" (Acts 1:3) of the resurrection of Jesus, but what does it mean? Resurrection power is promised to every believer in Christ and we receive it in the same way that Jesus gave it. When he invited a disciple (ever since known as "Doubting Thomas") to examine the wounds caused by his crucifixion so as to confirm that he had indeed risen, Thomas was convinced and cried out, "My Lord and my God!" Explore the life-changing impact of these two momentous events. Darby Bible Translation. I have laid out the evidence for this stupendous truth elsewhere. Elsewhere God makes the wonderful promise, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13), but he also says, "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6). As the British preacher, John Stott says, "A pattern cannot secure our pardon." (, As the Bible puts it, "God made him who had no sin, When Jesus cried that he had been forsaken by God the Father, it did not mean that the Father was not there (as God is always everywhere), but that. Divine Mercy 101: Elements of the Devotion. This idea is fatally misleading. It is a force that repudiates and virtually makes a joke of the crucifying powers in the world. By nature and choice, we are all separated from God because of our self-centered rebellion against his authority and our deter­min­ation to go our own way. According to the Holy Father, the Resurrection too is a testimony to Divine Mercy through and through. We need to know both the purpose and the power for us to enjoy maximally our relationship with God with the accompanying benefits in this world and in the world to come. A few years ago it was all the rage for some Christians to wear a badge saying, ‘Smile, God loves you', but, as a friend of mine said at the time, ‘It would be more truthful to wear one saying, "Frown, you're under judgment.". In other words, the story of the Cross and of Easter really begins at Lk. The resurrection of Christ, and the resurrection of all Christians at his coming, was the sustaining power of Paul’s song in suffering and his love for jailers. We all know of people taken prisoner by someone who then demands a ransom. Are you certain that you are right with God? When Jesus became accountable for the sins of others he was punished as though he had committed them, and he bore that punishment both in his body and in his soul. All rights reserved. Dr. Blanchard makes his home in Banstead, Surrey, UK. Some can be thrown away immediately, while deciding what to do about others is just a matter of choice, with no serious consequences. In other words, Jesus is the mercy seat, and all you've got to do is run to Him today and He will not only get you up and get you out, but He will move into your home, to your family, to your marriage, to your life, to your … Religious observance can never make you right with God. We are... How rich can we become because of Jesus' death? THE PURPOSE AND POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION. Many people think of God only as a God of love, always on hand to help when things go wrong and bound in the end to forgive everybody's sins and receive them into heaven forever. Early in the 20th century, several of the popes called the world back to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Services and sacraments, rites and rituals can never bridge the gap that sin has created. III. Divine Mercy Sunday: What's This Feast All About, Anyway? This is why orthodox Easter is both the Cross and the Resurrection. that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; Jesus was "imprisoned" by death on behalf of those in whose place he was acting, but when he had paid sin's penalty in full, "God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him" (Acts 2:24). Jesus undoubtedly died on the cross. 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