Why Was the Cross the Price for Our Sin?
- Michelle Rabon iBelieve Contributor
- 2021 26 Feb
“Without the cross, I would not know redeeming love that floods my soul. Without the blood where would I be? I would be lost, without the cross.” – Pictures of Grace
My husband stood up Sunday morning and sang this beautiful song. As a Minister of Music’s wife, music is always at the heart of our lives. The words of the songs are what speak so profoundly to my heart. As I listen, I am pointed to Christ, and this song he sang pointed me straight to the cross.
I need the reminder of the cross often. It is the symbol of Christ who set me free.
Despite our greatest efforts, we are lost without the cross of Christ. Spiritually, we are inclined to seek and search for a direction without the cross. But without the cross, we would have no hope, no peace, and no comfort. We would be lost.
The cross is God’s chosen path for our redemption.
The shepherd doesn’t just let his sheep wander off. He sets out to find them and bring them back home. Christ had to go the way of the cross to accomplish God’s plan for our rescue. But the cross is not where the story ends. God raised Christ from the dead on the third day.
And through this victory over the grave, God has raised those who trust in Jesus to new life in Him.
The cross frees us, restores us, and resurrects us with Christ. As children of God, when we accept Him, give our lives to Him, surrender ourselves to a mighty and powerful God who loves us, then the cross changes us.
Yet, why did God choose the cross as the price for our redemption? Why was this form of ancient Roman punishment cross needed in the first place?
1. The Cross Is the Climax of the Story
What I love about the story God tells through His Word is that it is one of redemption. Redemption means that there is hope for lost things. From Genesis to Revelation, a bigger picture is being knit together. And just like any story, there is always a climax, usually when evil is defeated. It may be a major battle or discovering who committed the crime, there is always a major moment when truth is revealed, good triumphs, and all the story’s threads comes together.
The cross is that moment when everything comes together. It is the peak of God’s redemptive plan. It is what righted every wrong, defeated death, and signed the warrant for the enemy’s inevitable execution to come.
2. The Cross Satisfied God’s Wrath
We tend to forget that God is equal in all His character. He is loving, and He is also just. God’s wrath burns against all the wrong in the world. His character and His justice require atonement for sin. If someone wronged us we would wish for the wrong to be righted. God does too.
God is love, justice, wrath, and mercy. By sending His Son in our stead to make payment for our sins, God is extending mercy that we do not deserve. The cross was required because the wrath of God needed to be satisfied. Atonement must be made, and in His grace and mercy, He took the punishment upon Himself instead.
3. The Cross Was the Promised Method
Throughout the Old Testament, prophets proclaimed the Messiah to come. Isaiah described the suffering servant that would arrive, and face a cruel death.
Psalm 22:16 says “they have pierced my hands and my feet.” This Scripture details the suffering of one crucified, a method of death that had not yet even been invented. Isaiah 50:6 tells of the beating Christ would take. The cross was foretold hundreds of years before any records are found of this form of execution.
4. The Cross Delivers from Sin and Death
Sin requires a sacrifice. Scripture tells us in Romans that the price for sin is death. Not just physical death, but spiritual death. Eternal separation from a holy God. Jesus’ work on the cross fulfilled the required penalty, and so restores us to God.
We have ready access to the Father because of the cross. We have hope of heaven and eternity with Christ because of the cross. We do not have to fear death because of the cross. We can live in joy and hope every day because of the cross.
The cross is foolish to the world. In 1 Corinthians Paul says that God uses the foolish to shame the wise. God chooses the unlikely and unqualified to shame the proud. No one can boast in the presence of God Almighty.
When Israel awaited their Messiah they believed He would come as a great ruler who would destroy the power of Rome over them. They believed His reign would be immediate and earthly. They expected the worldly standards of a king, so when Jesus came they missed it. The cross was not what they expected. They didn’t understand God’s plan, they couldn’t see what was required for them to truly be free, not just from Rome but from death--their greatest enemy.
The resurrection that came after the death of Christ was His victory lap, it is what revealed Christ to be God. The cross is what revealed Him as a sacrifice. The perfect sacrifice, a lamb without blemish. The perfect payment for sin, but not just one man’s sin--all sin, for all time.
How magnificent is the work our Savior accomplished on the cross, taking that punishment in our place. In His love for us, He chose to lay down His life that we may be free. His love for you is far beyond what we can understand; it takes the shape of the wooden cross and the weight of the crown of thorns upon His head.
Without the cross, we would not know just how much Jesus loves us.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/mbolina
Michelle Rabon is a wife and homeschooling mom of three who feels called to help women thrive in their walk with Jesus every day. In 2012, she started Displaying Grace, a ministry that is focused on helping women engage with God’s Word. Michelle has also served in women’s ministry for the past five years seeking to equip women in the local church through Bible study. When she is not writing or teaching, she enjoys reading, being close to the ocean, and drinking a lot of coffee.