Summary: Our experience may alter the way we come to the cross but not the victory we have in it.
March 23, 2008 Easter Service
The Victory of the Cross
The Victory of the Cross
When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride. See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down, did ever such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown? Oh the wonderful cross the wonderful cross bids me come and die, and find that I may truly live. The cross is a symbol of transformation. Failure is turned to success, weakness to strength, death to life and victory is pulled out of defeat. In the power of the cross there is victory for mankind victory not just over sin but over death itself. This is great news because the victory that the cross freely gives us is one we could never get for ourselves. In the cross we are forgiven our sins and we receive life.
God is a righteous and powerful God. In His complete and total righteousness, in His majesty and sovereignty God is in His very nature good. God is in fact so good that He cannot be in the presence of that which is not good. He is a Holy God and there is none like Him. This Holy God created man in order to have a relationship with him. Yet man chose to deny God in efforts to make himself like God. So man chose that which was evil rather than that which was good, and sin entered the world. Now the wage of sin, is death and God who is righteous and good hates sin. All of those who sin deserve to die. It is the price that must be paid for our own wickedness. Yet God who is rich in mercy and abounding in love was willing to let us suffer the fate of our actions. He was not willing to let us pay the price for our sins. God then is faced with a dilemma. He desires to have a relationship with us but because of our wickedness He could not. Now God could not just ignore our sins because God is a righteous God whose nature demands justice. He is also a loving God whose nature demands mercy. So how can God satisfy His just nature while at the same time? God hates sin and cannot be around it…but God loves man and desires to be around them…so how can God be with man who sins if He cannot be around sin? The answer is the cross. Through the sacrifice of His Son, through the blood of the lamb the price of sin was paid. God’s righteous anger against sin and wickedness was turned away and His perfect solution to the ultimate problem made known. Through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross sin was overcome. Death was defeated it has been overcome. Through the cross…our sins were paid for. We were bought at a heavy price but now we are free. We are the children of God…we are saved.
The Cross of Christ is a symbol of victory transformed out of a symbol of defeat. The very change in the symbol shows the power of the transformation of the cross. For against all social, political, honorable, and personal forces at work in society, that which was the most shameful and offensive, that which was the source of defeat, became the greatest symbol of victory the world would ever see. But Easter isn’t really about the cross…it’s about the tomb. Turn in your Bibles to John 20.