Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Cross by Pastor Phil Pringle



A few years back Mel Gibson directed a film titled "The Passion of the Christ" portraying the life of Christ 12 hours before his death. This movie has been released to some countries. Many have seen it. Billy Graham saw and cried. It was reported that there was one who died of heart attack while watching this film. I hope he/she was saved.Indeed the movie shows how much Christ has suffered during 12 hours before His death.

Jesus was crucified on the cross. He suffered there. Why the cross? For the cross represents the evil and horror of mankind. The Bible calls it "sin" which is filthy, vile, foul, contagious and deadly in His sight.

Although the cross reveals the ugliness of human heart, it also reveals God's grace and forgiveness. It was on the cross God himself laid upon our sins upon His own dear Son, Jesus Christ. On that cross, Jesus paid the penalty of our sins. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him". In Isaiah 53:6, we are told that "the Lord has laid on Him (Christ) the iniquity of us all".
This is the good news. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ, that the Father so loved you and me that He gave His only and one Son, Jesus Christ, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish in the lake fire but have everlasting life in heaven. It is the death of Christ that reconciled us with God. It is His death that saved us by bearing our punishment and by taking the penalty of our sin upon His own body.
On that cross, where Jesus was crucified, He prayed, "Father forgive them". From His gracious word, pardon and forgiveness is freely opened to all who believe that He is the Lamb of God who takes away your sins.
When Christ died, He declared "It is finished." The debt that we owed is paid for by His substitution death on the cross. All our failures, all our flaws all our transgressions have been paid on that day when Christ died. "Behold what manner of love God has for me, a sinner." We deserve to die for our own sins yet He paid for it all on the Cross.
Well Jesus died. Good news, He has defeated death. He has defeated Satan. By His resurrection on the third day, He rose from the dead in triumph. Jesus expressed this good news saying, "Because I live, you will live also." (John 14:19).
Friends, the death and resurrection of Christ prove His passion for you and me. He loves us so much that He doesn't want to see us perish. As he has raised from the dead, likewise to all who believes in Him will share His resurrection life. And to all who believes in Him, they will experience God's forgiveness and eternal life. Life with Christ forevermore.
What must we do to experience eternal life? "Repent and believe in the Gospel!"
To believe in the Gospel is to trust Jesus Christ for His finished work on the Cross for us.
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