Summary: Jesus Christ Crucified, that’s the answer.
The Ultimate Christ Series (Part 4 of 4) Mitchell Skelton
The Ultimate Savior
2 Cor. 5:14–6:2
INTRODUCTION (Idea for intro and conclusion taken from He Chose the Nails by Max Lucado)
“When I came to you brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:1–2) Why is the cross so important? The cross. . . A tool of torture that became the symbol of a movement of hope. The Jews have the six pointed star of David. Islam has the crescent moon. Buddhism, the lotus blossom. Christianity, an instrument of execution. An electric chair, a hangman’s noose, a cross of crucifixion.
Surely the cross must represent something. One Horizontal Beam reaching out like God’s love. One Vertical Beam reaching up like God’s holiness. One represents the width of His love, the other, the depth of His holiness.
But what about man’s sinfulness? Paul declares in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Can a holy God overlook our mistakes? Can a kind God punish our mistakes?
From our perspective both choices are unappealing. But from God’s perspective He can say, “The answer is neither A nor B but rather C. . . the Cross.”
I. Christ had no sin.
A. Christ lived a sinless life to be a perfect sacrifice. 1 Peter 2:21–22
B. Christ’s sinless perfection paved the way for our future perfection. Galatians 2:20
1. Necklace illustration - belonged to Napoleon and bore his inscription.
2. Identification with Christ’s sinless perfection is the Christians hope.
II. Christ became sin for us.
A. The penalty for sin had to be paid. Heb. 2:14–17
B. Christ, The Sacrifice of Atonement.
1. Definition: Atonement–the means by which God shows mercy to sinners.
2. AT–ONE–MENT; Christ’s sacrifice for us makes us one with God.
III. In Christ, we become the righteousness of God.
A. In Christ we become new creatures. Rom. 6:1–13
B. We are called to obedience that comes through faith. Rom. 1:5
How wide is God’s love? “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 God’s love is wide enough for the whole world! If you are included in the world then you are included in God’s love.
• Universities exclude if you aren’t smart enough.
• Businesses exclude if you aren’t qualified enough.
• Sadly, some churches exclude if you aren’t good enough.
Yet, Christ included you!
When asked to describe the width of His love for you, He stretched one hand to the right, the other to the left and had them nailed in that position so that you would know He died loving you!
So what is the cross? The cross is where God forgave His children without lowering His standards. 2 Cor. 5:21 “21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”