Title- The Cross
Text- Romans 5:1-11
Romans 5:1-11 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
I. Why use the cross?
a. Because God is holy
b. because God is love
II. What was accomplished on the cross?
III. How do we access the cross?
a. Through Grace
b. Through faith
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ on a cross. Today I want us to spend just a few minutes focusing our attention on that cross.
The cross is an interesting thing. It was invented as a means of torture and execution. It was designed to provide a painful, shameful, public death. It was feared and hated. It was a symbol of hopelessness, punishment, and despair.
Today the cross means something totally different. Today the cross is a symbol of hope and forgiveness and new life. It is often a symbol that we wear around our necks as a reminder of how and why we can now stand in right relationship with God. It is our doorway to salvation. It is our entry into the kingdom. It is a thing of beauty.
Today as we fix our gaze on the cross I want to answer three questions about it. 1. Why use a cross? 2. What was accomplished on the cross? and 3. How do we access the cross?
The passage that I want to work from today is in the book of Romans 5:1-11. I’ve been preaching through the book of Romans and have just been in a state of complete amazement at how rich and beautiful it is. It teaches us so much about who we are and who God is and what He has done for us. I want to look at Romans 5:1-11 today. This passage holds some keys to help us answer our questions about the cross of Christ.
Follow along as I read…
The first question is “why the cross?” Why did The Son of God have to come to the earth, be born a human, live with us, suffer with us, and then die this humiliating death in order for us to be saved? Why didn’t God just say, “I forgive you”. That would have been enough to get the job done right? After all, He’s God, He can do things however He wants to.
So why did our reconciliation to Him have to come at the cost of His one and only son? Why did Jesus have to take the fall for us? Why the cross?
The answer is found in these two truths about the nature of God that we see in this passage. The cross was necessary because God is holy and because God is love. These are two irrefutable truths about the nature of God that make the cross a necessity. First of all, we see that God is holy.
This truth is imbedded all throughout this passage. Let me read verse 6-7 again…
Jesus had to come and die for us because God is holy and He takes sin seriously. Way back in the beginning, with Adam and Eve, God made them a deal. They could do anything they wanted, they had free reign of the place. The only rule was that they weren’t allowed to eat from that one tree. If they ate from it they would die.
That meant spiritual death, physical death, and eternal death. That meant separation from God. That meant they would be estranged from God. Well, we know how that ended. They sinned and it turned out that God was serious. He really meant what He said. The result really was death and separation.