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Summary: Finding the message of forgiveness and acceptance from a Holy and Loving God by way of the Cross.

JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD. SIN IS DEFEATED AND DEATH IS CONQUERED. JESUS’ WORK ON EARTH CAN NOW BE SUMMARIZED INTO ONE WORD – VICTORY!

WHEN JESUS BREATHED HIS LAST AND GAVE UP HIS SPIRIT, IT WAS NOT THE END, NOR A VICTORY FOR EVIL. WHAT TRANSPIRED WAS A LOVING, COURAGEOUS, DEATH-DEFYING RESCUE MISSION.

WE CAN FIND BEAUTY IN THE GROTESQUE MANGLING OF CHRIST’S CRUCIFIXION. WHAT SEEMED UGLY WAS A PRECIOUS MASTERPIECE OF DISARMING OUR ENEMY AND HUMILIATING HIM BEFORE A WATCHING WORLD.

THE DEATH OF JESUS ON THE CROSS WAS, IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, A VICTORIOUS TRIUMPH THAT MADE A PUBLIC SPECTACLE OF THE EVIL AUTHORITIES AND PRINCIPALITIES

COLOSSIANS 2:13-15 (quickview) , “YOU WERE DEAD BECAUSE OF YOUR SINS AND BECAUSE YOUR SINFUL NATURE WAS NOT YET CUT AWAY. THEN GOD MADE YOU ALIVE WITH CHRIST, FOR HE FORGAVE ALL OUR SINS. HE CANCELED THE RECORD OF THE CHARGES AGAINST US AND TOOK IT AWAY BY NAILING IT TO THE CROSS. IN THIS WAY, HE DISARMED THE SPIRITUAL RULERS AND AUTHORITIES. HE SHAMED THEM PUBLICLY BY HIS VICTORY OVER THEM ON THE CROSS.”

OUR ENEMIES WERE HUMILIATED AND SOUNDLY DEFEATED. OUR LIVES WERE CHANGED IN AN INSTANT. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD OPENED AND BECAME NEW.

HOW GOD WILL DEAL WITH OUR SIN IS NOW BATHED IN HIS INFINITE MERCY AND GRACE. OUR FUTURE CHANGED, BOTH FOR THIS LIFE AND THE LIFE TO COME.

THE DEATH OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS WAS A SACRIFICE. THE WORLD MAY HAVE SEEN IT AS THE “EXECUTION OF A CRIMINAL,” BUT WE KNOW THAT OUR SALVATION BECAME A REALITY.

JESUS CHRIST OFFERED ONCE AND FOR ALL THE ONE PERFECT SACRIFICE FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD. NO OTHER SATISFACTION FOR SIN IS NECESSARY; NONE OTHER CAN ATONE.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:18-19 (quickview) , “AND ALL OF THIS IS A GIFT FROM GOD, WHO BROUGHT US BACK TO HIMSELF THROUGH CHRIST. AND GOD HAS GIVEN US THIS TASK OF RECONCILING PEOPLE TO HIM. FOR GOD WAS IN CHRIST, RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF, NO LONGER COUNTING PEOPLE’S SINS AGAINST THEM. AND HE GAVE US THIS WONDERFUL MESSAGE OF RECONCILIATION.”

1 JOHN 2:1 (quickview) B-2, “HE IS JESUS CHRIST, THE ONE WHO IS TRULY RIGHTEOUS. 2 HE HIMSELF IS THE SACRIFICE THAT ATONES FOR OUR SINS—AND NOT ONLY OUR SINS BUT THE SINS OF ALL THE WORLD.”

THE GOOD NEWS FOR US IS THAT JESUS CHRIST WON THE VICTORY OVER SATAN BY PAYING SIN’S PENALTY ON THE CROSS. HE PROVED HE HAD THE VICTORY THROUGH THE RESURRECTION. THIS IS WHY WE CELEBRATE TODAY. THIS IS WHY WE FIND JOY TODAY.

DEATH COULD NOT KEEP HIM IN THE GRAVE! ACTS 2:23-24 (quickview) , “BUT GOD KNEW WHAT WOULD HAPPEN, AND HIS PREARRANGED PLAN WAS CARRIED OUT WHEN JESUS WAS BETRAYED. WITH THE HELP OF LAWLESS GENTILES, YOU NAILED HIM TO A CROSS AND KILLED HIM. BUT GOD RELEASED HIM FROM THE HORRORS OF DEATH AND RAISED HIM BACK TO LIFE, FOR DEATH COULD NOT KEEP HIM IN ITS GRIP.”

DEATH COULD NOT HOLD HIM BACK AND HAD NO AUTHORITY OVER JESUS. DEATH, THEREFORE, LOST ITS “STING.” ISAIAH FORETOLD THIS IN 25:7-8, ‘THERE HE WILL REMOVE THE CLOUD OF GLOOM, THE SHADOW OF DEATH THAT HANGS OVER THE EARTH. HE WILL SWALLOW UP DEATH FOREVER!”

THEN WE HAVE THIS PROMISE RE-AFFIRMED TO US IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15:53-55 (quickview) , “FOR OUR DYING BODIES MUST BE TRANSFORMED INTO BODIES THAT WILL NEVER DIE; OUR MORTAL BODIES MUST BE TRANSFORMED INTO IMMORTAL BODIES. THEN, WHEN OUR DYING BODIES HAVE BEEN TRANSFORMED INTO BODIES THAT WILL NEVER DIE, THIS SCRIPTURE WILL BE FULFILLED: ‘DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY. O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?’”


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