The Significance of The Cross of Christ

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  “For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in the flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, [so] making peace; and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” Ephesians 2:14-16 The most important moment on human history was not the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, nor the final day of the World War II. It does come close to the day that kings and queen rose to the power, it’s not the day that Earth was created, nor it is when the very Christ came to this land. It is without a doubt, the day that Christ died for the sins of humanity on the Cross! Jesus is indeed the most important person in history. In His unique mission, He brought and bought a new start for humanity. He changed time, age, and men philosophy and religion. His Person is reverenced by billions, and all major religions in the world today, accept His teachings as that One that was sent from God. But the definition of His character and teachings, are tested and proven only through the cross. It is there and no other place that we see all the glory, humility and power of the Christ. “but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient [even] unto death, yea, the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:7-8 Most would inquire about the resurrection, and indeed it is a major part of our argument in the uniqueness of Christ and a center part that gives significance to His Cross. It is what gives us the obvious idea that without the Cross there is no resurrection. Therefore, we understand the Cross is prior to the resurrection, even the birth of Jesus because, “Ye know that after two days the Passover cometh and the Son of man is delivered up to be crucified.” Matthew 26:2 And we could not go further without a point the historical fact that is agreed by most, Christians and non-Christians scholars, about the veracity of those who account what happened with Jesus of Nazareth, like Tacitus, Flavius Josephus, and few others. With all that in mind, we can now go forth, isolating the Cross, and bringing four aspects that I think would be the most valuable for this issue, here they are. The Legal, Moral, Philosophical, and Spiritual. The following is just an exercise made by myself with the help of the scholars that I am studying. The Legal matter of the cross is indeed the first significant fact we find. On the legal matter, we find the punishment, the penalty, and justice had been served. In his book Born Crucified, L.E.Maxell give us the account of a man named George Wyatt who was drawn by to go to the front line during his service as an American soldier during the Civil War. Since Wyatt was a married man with children, a young man, Richard Pratt offers to take his place and served as he was George Wyatt. Pratt died and a while later the authorities tried to draw George Wyatt again. He then filed a petition arguing that he had died in the person of Richard Pratt; therefore he could no longer serve. He was granted a waiver and no longer had to act as a soldier as “He had died in the person of his representative.” [1] That is what the Cross represents a legal factor, a substitution. Jesus took our place and died our death, so we could live His life. Another story that applies to this point of reference is from the legends about a General called Garcia, who while fighting the war against the Cuban regime, was caught by the limited stock of food in his division. Concerned about the recurring thefts of food and supplies, he imposes a restricted law, that anyone caught in the act of stealing food would be punished by receiving 30 whippings. One day, they finally caught the thief, who happened to be his own mother. Garcia was indeed a man of integrity; he could not just forget what had happened and let it go without justice being served. Consequently, he convened his mother’s trial and condemned her to be whipped according to the law. When the time came for the sentence to be served, he himself took her place and received her punishment. That way justice had been served, he knew that his mother would never be able to bear the punishment, and the men would not be pleased with the forgiveness of the theft. We see that as God, Garcia served his own law by sacrificing himself to save the perpetrator of a punishment that he could not bear. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh…”1 Peter 3:18. We see in the last example the rise of a moral issue along with the legal, and it is that we could not pay the price for our sins, as the price was too high. Only someone with no debt could have paid what was owed. If the wages of Sin is death, and the redeemer had sinned, how could He pay twice with death? That is not possible, and it’s when the Moral aspect of the Cross rises. It reminds us of the perfection of the Lamb, the debt that was against us He nailed at the cross once and for all, as He pure and sinless. The Moral aspect of the Cross reminds us about the sin, a stronghold that separates us from God. The only tool that is powerful to break that is the Cross. It’s in there that we are morally restored through repentance of our fails and morally corrupted character. Ravi Zacharias declares that Bertrand Russell’s statement: “all religion is born out of fear” is a half-truth, because many religions bring that moral failure brings the believer a sense of fear from the divine being.[2] Nonetheless, in that sense we can say that all conversion is brought out from repentance of our own moral bankruptcy. The Cross is the bailout, where moral values at his highest purposes can be restored to a newborn Christian, giving him or her the perspective that from now on he or she will live by the example of the Christ. The morality is often misunderstood as a presupposition of living in hypocrisy, because of the right standards that the divine set the world to live. In a sense, the stars are considered high, not because of its purpose, but because of the distance that men hearts and minds sailed towards. The Cross is an example of the damage that sin caused on the humankind, the gruesome and carnage caused by the punishment that Christ received on his body, represents the high price that was required to redeemed humanity. On a Philosophical perspective, we are often invited to wrap all the Calvary history, as a sort of figure, or an allegory in resemblance of the Greek Mythology. Indeed, there is a great volume of messages, figures, high thinking. However, in this aspect we can run from the simplicity of the message that says to us through the prophet, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Ezekiel 18:4 This simple mathematical exercise, leave us very certain of the seriousness of sin, what multiples the significance of the Cross giving us the relief of the wrath of God. In a philosophical way, the statement of Christ, calling the believers to neglect themselves and carry their crosses, signifies the aspect of a new way to understand, live and experience all things. It is by carrying our cross, an instrument of humbleness and submission, that we show commitment with Christ and His teachings. The last and final aspect in the significance of the cross and the most important one is the Spiritual aspect. The Cross brought us back to God, the fulfillment of the punishment of sin opened the door so we could have back communion with the Lord. Now, not through the priest or the pastor, or the temple, or the lambs and birds, but each one of us has been redeemed, because of the perfection the One that was offered as a holocaust at the Cross. In that way, Jesus also freed us of the Geographical worship, making possible to each one of us to worship God by the Holy Spirit that is living inside of us. What a marvelous cross. Only by the blood we could have received such grace. Also, we cannot forget the spiritual fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 53, that punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by his marks (the beating, the carnage, the whipping) we were cured and made sane. That, what is metaphysical, changed by something that happened physically with Christ on the Cross. A lot more could have been said about the significance of the Cross, much more if we were to use the personal testimony of million of Christians that have their sins washed away by Christ through the Cross in that hill called Calvary. As we conclude it is key to point once more the time in history that everything changed and gave us a new hope. When pastor Billy Graham went to East Germany he tells us this history: “I was invited to see Mr. Adenauer, then the Chancellor. When I walked in (a bit nervous in the presence of such a great man–I didn’t know what the conversation would be about), he greeted me, offered me a cup of coffee, and then he turned quickly and said,”Mr. Graham, do you believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?” I said, “I do.” He said, “So do I.” He said, “If Jesus Christ is not alive, there is no hope for our world.”[3]
BIBLIOGRAPHY Graham, Billy. Stains on the Altar closing address. November 11, 2006. Retrieved fromhttp://www2.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/docs/Berlin66/Graham-alter.htm Lucado, Max. No wonder They Call Him the Savior. By Multmomah Press, 1986 Stott, John R.W., The Cross of Christ. By InterVarsity Press. Illinois, 1986. Zacharias, Ravi. All Religions are Born out of Fear. RZIM.org Retrieved from http://www.rzim.org/just-a-thought-broadcasts/all-religion-is-born-out-of-fear/ [1] – Born Crucified – PG21 – L.E.Maxell [2] – ALL Religions are Born out of Fear – Ravi Zacharias – RZIM.org – http://www.rzim.org/just-a-thought-broadcasts/all-religion-is-born-out-of-fear/ [3] STAINS ON THE ALTAR – Closing address by Dr. Billy Graham



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