6. THE CROSS IS EVERYTHING
GOD’S COVENANT OF PROVISION
The Lord had declared that everything Abraham needed was to be found in Him (see previous post). And that is His promise to us as well; a promise that found its ultimate fulfilment in the cross.
The cross is everything; it’s the foundation for a successful life—and it’s the covenant-pledge of God to meet our needs.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
[Isaiah 53:3-6 NKJV]
That Friday when Jesus was crucified was the most important day in the history of mankind; it was the day the world changed. Our conversion experiences usually centre upon forgiveness for our sins, which is truly wonderful, but is only a portion of what was accomplished for us on the cross.
The crucifixion is the answer to every issue, problem or concern faced by man. Hanging on the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the distress of the ages. And because the Resurrection followed, we know He triumphed in every area.
A scriptural study of the topic reveals a breadth in what was accomplished, which is hidden from a cursory reading. For example, did you know that in Isaiah’s amazing prophecy, the Hebrew word for ‘sorrows’ includes grief and mental anguish, while the word translated ‘grief’ includes sickness, disease and calamity in its meaning. And the word for ‘healed’ (rapha) in the familiar verse ‘by His stripes we are healed’, means just that. The same word is used in Exodus 15:26: ‘Jehovah Rapha’—'I am the Lord who heals you’.
And to make sure we really understand, the Hebrew word for ‘peace’, shalom, is used, which includes ‘completeness, wholeness, safety, soundness, welfare, health, prosperity, contentment, peace in human relationships, peace with God, and peace from war’ in its meaning!
Jesus paid an astonishing price so that we could live free.
Why not set some time aside to reflect on the cross...
There are a number of resources on The Power of the Cross page on this site
All the benefits outlined in this blog, and on the link above are potentially ours, but it is our responsibility to take hold of them and see them worked out in our lives.
Scripture encourages us to ‘put off laziness’ and 'imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises' [Hebrews 6:12].
For some, transformation will come in an instant, for others, over a period, but for all of us, freedom is a journey, not an event. Let’s get started today…
THIS WEEK’S GRACE RHYTHM:
NEXT WEEK: LIVING IN ABUNDANCE
Re-positioning ourselves as Sons and Daughters of the King of Kings...
PASS IT ON
[Photo credits: Eberhard Grossgasteiger (mountain cross); Daniel Joshua (person and cross);
Markus Winkler (sharing sheet) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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Da Kraplak (type writer);
Merakist (social media)
@ Unsplash, with thanks]
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