Stage 1

The Cross

"...Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but...humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!" Phil.2:5-8.
When Jesus Christ was put to death by being nailed to a wooden cross, wicked men thought they were just executing a man who was disturbing their way of life. They did not realize that the Cross was planned by God from the beginning of the world (Revelation 13:8).
"Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all" Isaiah 53:4-6 (see also 1 Peter 2:24).
The Cross dealt with every person's sin, suffering and sorrow. Jesus died in the place of every person. Personally receiving the work of the Cross brings the answer to all our needs.

The Cross demonstrates God's power

"And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross" Col. 2:15.
Jesus was crucified in weakness (2 Corinthians 13:4), but even the "weakness" of God is stronger than man's strength (1 Corinthians 1:18,24). The Cross totally disarmed Satan's control over mankind (Revelation 1:18).

The Cross demonstrates God's love

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" Romans 5:8.

The Cross demonstrates God's holiness

"...having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross" Colossians 2:14.
The Cross fully satisfied God's holiness. The written code - the standard of God's holiness revealed in the Old Testament - was cancelled at the Cross by a "new and living way" (Hebrews 10:19-20; Romans 7:6) - the holiness of Jesus Himself.

The Cross demonstrates God's wisdom

"No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" 1 Corinthians 2:7-8.
God's love and holiness intersected at the Cross. His righteous judgment demanded the death penalty for sin. But His love met His own demands. Only the Cross fully satisfies God's righteous requirements. This is the wonderful wisdom of God.
"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified...so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power" 1 Corinthians 2:2,5 (see also 1:17-18).

The Barrier of Sin Broken

"For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us..." Romans 8:3-4.
Because God is holy, our sin separates us from Him. When Jesus suffered on the Cross, He received the punishment for our sins. He died in our place, so that God's judgment would be satisfied. Through the Cross...

Victory of the Cross

Jesus' death on the Cross won a great victory for us. Because God dealt with our sin on the Cross it means also that all the misery and suffering which is a result of sin was also dealt with. The Cross has won great freedom for us!

The Center of History

The Cross of Jesus Christ is the center-point of human history. From the moment that Adam sinned, it was pre-planned by God that Jesus would die on the Cross. From that time on people looked forward in faith to what God promised He would do.
"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow" 1 Peter 1:10-11.
Today we look back and, by believing what Jesus has done for us on the Cross, receive forgiveness and new life. The Cross is the center of human history and the center of our lives.

The Old Has Gone

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" Galatians 2:20.
When Jesus died on the Cross, God counted His death as your death. Your old life was nailed to the Cross together with Jesus. The Cross of Christ is the turning point of your life. You have died with Christ and have begun a new life with Him as well.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17.
On the Cross, God dealt with your old life once for all. You are not trying to kill your old life off - God has already done that on the Cross (Romans 6:2-11). You just receive it as a fact by faith. As a Christian, you too can say:
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" Galatians 6:14.


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