Thursday, April 2, 2015

the cross and Easter

Tomorrow is the day that we remember the death of our Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross.  Without the cross of Christ we would not have the resurrection of Christ.  It is the love of God that made the cross possible and a reality. 

Often we have misunderstandings about the cross, Jesus’ death and the plan of God.  Yet the cross is at the central part of our salvation and of all Christianity.  Notice and believe that Jesus is no longer on the cross.  He is alive and continuing to lead His people into a closer relationship with Him.

The cross is the beginning of the Easter celebration for those who seek God and trust Him…

1 John 5:6  NLT
And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the cross—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony.

Few people garnered the attention of the world, the people around Him and especially the leaders of His day like Jesus did.  Most who are watched are ones who arm themselves and others for battle.  Jesus armed people to live with purpose, to love others and to welcome the freedom that only Jesus can give.

The cross of Christ is the place where His blood was flowing for our forgiving.  We are lost without the cross.

For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.

Jesus is peace, and Jesus brought peace.  It is said in the Bible that the cross is a place of division.  The cross divides people who are saved from those who are lost.  Yet the cross is also a place of unity because whoever trusts God finds and love and forgiveness flowing from the cross.  No matter a person’s color, denomination, body make up or whatever, Jesus is the one who saves anyone.

As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.

Humans boast in lots of different things.  You can hear people talk much about their possessions and their relationships as well as many more things.  But Jesus is the only one who can last and be boasted about.  Nothing can take us further.  Nothing else opens the doors of heaven.  Only Jesus and the cross bridge the gap between heaven and hell, saved and lost, freedom and bondage.

But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ.

The wisdom of man or the plan of man is easier to trust for many people than trusting the plan of God.  The cross is the place where God demonstrated His love and His forgiveness for you and me.  His wonderful grace was nailed to a cross for all to see.

Have you noticed that even 2000 years after Jesus’ death that the cross is still a sign and symbol of God’s endless love for us?

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Keep our eyes on Jesus.  He is our champion.  He is our savior.  He is the beginning and the end.  May we find ourselves this Easter praising God and understanding the cross more and more.

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.

It was the choice of our Savior to take our sins.  It is the work of our God through His son Jesus that gives us healing.

The cross is essential to the Christian!  It’s Easter 2015.  Let’s worship Him together.  Join us Sunday at 10:10am or find a church in your area this weekend to celebrate Easter.

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happy birthday, Julie

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