In this week leading up to Easter, people are naturally asking questions about its origin. Beyond the bunnies and chocolate and egg-dying, they know there's another reason for Easter, but they're just not sure what it is. Maybe you're like that. Maybe you're wondering to yourself, What's the big deal with the Cross? What was its purpose? Why was it necessary? And most importantly, Why did HE go?
To find the answers to these questions, all we have to do is read the Bible, God's Word. In it, He tells us, very clearly, all about the Cross of Easter. We're let in on the significance of what Jesus did there. And most importantly, we discover that its significance isn't just for Bible-time days. It's really for you and me. Here and now. If you read in Romans chapter 6, I think you'll be surprised at how relevant it is.
"Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life -- no longer at sin's every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ's sin-conquering death, we also get included in His life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, He took sin down with him, but alive He brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did." Romans 6:6-11 (The Message)
In other words, when I apply the Perfect Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross to my personal life, I will have freedom. Freedom from beating myself up every time I fall down (and from perpetually falling down, powerless to stop.) In essence, it means that I'm no longer a slave to sin. In the book of Galatians, chapter 5, Paul says:
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again ..." Galatians 5:1a (New International Version)
My freedom, which Jesus bought with His life on the Cross, is a gift. One that I can either accept or reject. But the question lingers... WHY would God pay the penalty of my sin with His own Life? Why Him? Why Jesus? The apostle John answered that question in the book of 1 John chapter 4."
"This is how God showed His love for us: God sent His only Son into the world so we might live through Him. This is the kind of love we are talking about - not that we once upon a time loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins ..." 1 John 4:9, 10 (The Message)
That's it in a nutshell. The immeasurable love of God. If it were an ocean, there would be no shore. It is incomprehensible and irrepressible. Without it, man is totally and utterly lost. And most importantly, it is the reason Jesus went to the Cross.
There's a story told that in medieval times the minister of a certain congregation announced that the following Sunday evening he would preach on The Love of God. As the time for the service drew near, the congregation gathered in. Sitting in their pews, the people waited for someone to light the candles in the darkening sanctuary. But no one came. Before long, the entire congregation sat in quiet darkness, waiting for the sermon on The Love of God. Finally the minister entered. Carrying one lighted candle, he brought it to a crucifix at the front of the room. First, he illuminated the crown of thorns. Next the two wounded hands. Then the punctured side. Finally, the nail-pierced feet. In the hush that fell, he blew out the candle and left the building. There was nothing else to say.
The amazing love of God. THAT is what Easter is all about. And it's a big deal.
The Full Circle Sofa Sisters discuss the Cross and what it has meant to each of them.