The Importance of The Cross

by Rick

First of all, I am glad to be back from my vacation.  The break was good, but I missed Today’s Word. Many of you expressed to me how much you missed it as well.  Thank you for your appreciation.

Yesterday was Resurrection Sunday (or Easter Sunday).  Before I move on from the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, allow me to share a few final thoughts about it.

Jesus died on the Cross to set us free from sin and death.  In the process, Jesus also set us free from the demands of the Law of Moses.  I have taught on the Law of Moses before.  You have to understand The Law to truly appreciate God’s grace and what we now have in the New Covenant afforded to us because of Jesus.  Instead of being slaves or servants, because of Jesus’s death on the Cross, we are now sons and daughters of God.  Instead of living by an external set of rules written on tablets of stone, we can now be led of the Holy Spirit, from the inside, as the Holy Spirit writes God’s instructions on our hearts.  

Many Christians today are still trying to fulfill the Law of Moses.  But we cannot fulfill the Law. It’s not that The Law is wrong. The problem with The Law is that it is too right.  It is so holy that no mere human could ever fulfill it.  Thankfully Jesus fulfilled it for us.  When we try to fulfill the Law Jesus set us free from, it is actually a dishonor to Him.  Because we are failing to accept and embrace the finished work of Jesus.

So what does this mean to you today? A few things:

1.  No one could ever be made right by attempting to keep the Law.  Paul said, “What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.  But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.”  So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”  This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”  (Galatians 3:8-12).  The Bible is very clear here.  No human can be made right by attempting to keep The Law.  In other words, no human can be made right by their performance.  We can only be made right by faith; by expressing our faith in Jesus’ finished work.  Our faith accesses God’s grace. This is how we are saved from sin and death. It cannot be based on works (see Galatians 2:8,9).  

2.  The purpose of The Law was not to make you right, but rather to show you how wrong you are.  Paul said, “For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” (Romans 3:20 NLT).  Did you catch that? The purpose of The Law was not to make you right.  Rules cannot make you right. Rules can only show you when you are wrong.  The purpose of the Law was to prove to you that you need a Savior. That Savior came and His name is Jesus!

3.  When the Law was given, people became more conscious of sin. The Law was holy and perfect because it came from God. However, people could not keep it, and that is why we need God’s grace.  Paul explained, “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.” (Romans 5:20).

4.  Jesus freed you from the bondage of the Law.  The Bible says, “Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law.  Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.” (Romans 6:14 NLT).  God does not require you to live every second of your life attempting to comply with an external set of rules, which no human could ever fully comply with in the first place.  No. God now, through the finished work of Jesus on the cross, enables and expects us to be led of His Spirit. When we are led of the Holy Spirit we get to tap into the power of God’s grace.  This is the only way we will live “As Jesus is, in this world” (1 John 4:17).  This is the only way we are going to make Kingdom impact.  This is the only way we are going to experience heaven on earth.  Before Jesus the spotlight was on man, and man’s performance towards God.  Now that Jesus came the spotlight is no longer on us. The spotlight is now on God, and on what God has already done for us.  When you embrace Jesus’ finished work on the cross you are free to live as the man/woman you were born to be. This is how God is going to use you to change the world!  So enter into this day with boldness and confidence. Not based on how good you are, but based on how good Jesus is. Not based on your performance, but based on Jesus’ finished work!  

As a closing note, while I have taught on this before, but many believers still fail to fully embrace the power of God’s grace.  I gave you many scripture references today. Please go back and read those passages for yourself.

Declaration of Faith:  

Father, I thank You for Your overwhelming goodness, kindness, mercy and grace towards me.  You gave the Israelites a perfect Law. It is so perfect You knew no human could ever fulfill it.  The only human who ever fulfilled the Law of Moses was the only perfect human to ever live. His name is Jesus.  I could not fulfill the Law of Moses, so Jesus fulfilled it for me. Jesus knew I could never be perfect, so He was perfect for me.  Jesus knew I could never be righteous, so He was righteous for me. Jesus fulfilled the requirement of the Law and His accomplishment, His fulfillment, His perfection, and His righteousness were all transferred to me when I PUT ON Christ by accepting Jesus as my Lord.  I accept and embrace Jesus. And with Jesus, I also embrace the finished work He accomplish on Calvary’s cross. I enter into this day free from the power of sin, delivered from the fear of death, filled with Your Holy Spirit, and ready to change the world! Not because I am so good, but because You are!  I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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