Summary: In all human history Jesus Christ was the only one qualified to die for the sins of mankind.
This is Easter morning, a time to remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
To appreciate resurrection, must His understand death
w/o- death, there could be no resurrection
w/o- resurrection- death not significant
In all human history … Jesus the man, who was Christ the God, was the only one qualified to die
for the sins of mankind.
There will never be another Messiah other than Jesus.
2Co 5:19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them ... NLT
The empty cross of Christ- speaks of resurrection- can be viewed from several perspectives …
1. The empty cross is a picture of sacrifice
OT- sacrifice was a common means of removing a man’s sin so He could stand before God.
An animal would die in place of a man.
Through the death of the animal, a man would be released from his sin and reconciled to God.
1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; NASU
2. The empty cross is a picture of forgiveness
Basic to Christian faith- mankind needs reconciliation.
First man Adam sinned- every man since has carried this original sin that separates him from God.
Under the law of God, every man/woman stands guilty of sin, and the penalty for sin is death.
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, NASU
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death …
Death of Jesus on the cross was payment for our sin.
Acts 10:43 "Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins."
A man/woman who has humbled themselves before God and appealed to Christ, has been set free
from the penalty they should pay for their sin.
Not only set free from penalty, but also the guilt of sin
3. The empty cross is a picture of how we are to live
Christ accepted willingly a difficult/undeserved death.
Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. NASU
This demonstration of love should in turn motivate us to repent of our sins and join our hearts to God.
Peter Abelard (1079-1142) …
The Son of God took our nature, and in it took upon himself to teach us by both word and example even to the point of death, thus binding us to himself through love …
Jesus encouraged His disciples to follow His example-
Lk 9:23 … " If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. NASU
Peter said …
1Pe 2:21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. NLT
4. The empty cross is a picture of victory
The death of Christ in both the eyes of the world and the disciples, appeared at first to be a defeat.
Lk 24:18-21 Road to Emmaus
But the death of Christ was necessary for Jesus to gain victory over sin, death, and the devil.
Once Jesus was resurrected the hold of sin, death, and the devil were broken over mankind.
1 Cor 15:56-57
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. NASU
This Jesus, who died in our place, for our sins, took the impossible and made it possible.
Through Jesus, God brought life out of death.
Perhaps that is why Jesus, when speaking about how a sinful man could stand before a Holy God, said …
Mk 10:27 … "With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." NASU
God has done the impossible work of cleansing us of sin so we can stand in the presence of a Holy God.
God, however, does not just want to set us free from sin- He wants to inhabit us.
His goal is not just to save us from destruction, but to conform us into the image Christ.
He died not just so we will be safe from His judgment, but to perfect us and make us like Him.
He wants to fill us with His eternal, resurrected life, so we can do the work that He did while on earth.
Jn 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. NASU