by Dr. Charles Stanley
Wednesday April 6, 2005
The Cross: The Heart of Our Faith
The cross is at the heart of what we believe.
When Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God and doing what pleased themselves, their nature from then on had a propensity to sin. Our holy God could have no personal relationship with them—or with us, their descendants—until all sin was paid for. What occurred at Calvary opened the way for us to be part of God's family.
At the Cross . . .
The Lamb of God was sacrificed on our behalf and sin's debt was settled. Through the Jewish sacrificial system, God taught He would accept only the shed blood of one without iniquity to atone for sin. Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man, met that requirement through His perfect life and therefore served as our sacrificial Lamb. (John 1:29).
God's justice was satisfied. God knew we could not pay for our own sins because we are not innocent. So He provided His Son as a substitute, transferred our iniquities to Jesus, and declared Him guilty instead of us. Christ willingly died for us in order to meet God's just demand for payment.
God's wrath was poured out in full measure. God hates sin and has declared that sinners face eternal separation from Him (Romans 6:23a). When Jesus bore our sins in His body (1 Peter 2:24), He took our punishment as well. (Matthew 27:46)
Blood and death seem like distasteful subjects, but without Christ's substitutionary death and His blood, which was poured out for us, we would be as condemned prisoners without hope. Why the cross? It is God's chosen place for the divine exchange—death for life.
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