Lessons of the Cross

It is hard for me to write about Easter because I become very emotional thinking about the days which led up to Christ’s crucifiction and ultimate death. Christ died for all my sins and I was certainly undeserving but He loves us that much. I wear a lot of cross jewelry to remind me of that ultimate sacrifice and except for grace I would not be here.
Of course, the message of the cross is that He is alive and that is certainly something to celebrate because it gives us hope.
Without Jesus’ sacrifice Ephesisans 2:12 tells us we are ”without hope and without God in this world.”
False hope makes us desperate because disappointments kill our hope and as we know without hope life simply is not worth living. But coming face to face with Jesus, we have hope because death could not hold Him. that means sin does not win, neither will death.
Because of the resurrection our sins are dealt with and God declares us righteous. We have hope for the future; a hope which should transform our lives.
As Romans 4:25 tells us, Jesus ”was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
And He left us a comforter — the Holy Spirit, which allows us to accomplish the purpose He has for us. In John 12 He tells us, ”As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you”. We are to live in the world as His representatives and glorify the Father while we are spreading the word.
God accepts us just as we are, sin nature and all and He has forgiven us because He gave His only begotten son for those sins. How freeing is that to know that God loves you no matter what? If not for the resurrection we would still be in our sins and I personally don’t believe the world would still be here if Jesus had not paid atonement for our sins because God would have gotten tired of all the sin.
Many don’t believe in the resurrection and try to debunk it. I believe Christ died, was buried and rose from the grave. While the disciples knew full well there was only one God who they must worship or end up in Hades. After Jesus’ resurretion we see them transformed, becoming even more bold, more convicted about spreading the gospel. They spread the message that the man they crucifiied, God had raised from the dead.
It is the resurrection that should keep us going every day and not thought about just on Easter.
Christ was without sin and did not need to die for himself and He could have put down the cup He was given from his Father but He didn’t. He knew the Father’s will and He accepted it willingly. Because He did, we experienced God’s forgiveness. As He forgave us, we should forgive others. And sometimes, depending on the wrong, that is hard to do but let me tell you, forgiveness frees you, not just the person you are forgiving. You will also have peace.
Christ left His peace to His disciples when he died on the cross. It also brought us peace. Peace with us and Him, offering Himself as a friend and helper. His crucifixion and resurrection brought peace between us and God. God made peace with us for our sinfulness by substituting his Son’s suffering for our penalty and now He comes as a loving Father.
It also brought peace between us and other Christians because to be reconciled to God is to be reconciled with everyone who is reconciled to Him. He wants us to have peace as He said ”Peace be with you.”
Sadly, man hasn’t learned from our mistakes. We keep sinning the same sins, thinking negative thoughts and we stumble over the cross. Some still struggle with unbelief, but God is not hindered by unbelief.
We don’t always understand a lot of things but God’s ways are not our ways. He paid a debt for us He didn’t owe. He accomplished what was impossible when he went to the cross and died for our sins — something we couldn’t do for ourselves.
And it may be hard to explain but I can tell you without hesitation and without a shadow of a doubt, that it is true. He offers us the invitation to stand by the cross; see Him suffer and die and rise again that we might have eternal life. All He asks is that we submit our life to Him. To me it is a small sacrifice.
No matter how many times I may stumble and fall, He gives second chances because it was all paid for at the cross. Because of His sacrifice, we should be trying every day to be better than we were the day before and to keep trying to be more like Him.
And while the message of the cross may be foolishness for those who are perishing without Christ, to Christians it is the power of God.
Have you stood at the cross and asked God to take on your sins? If not, do so today. Blessings to you and wishing you a blessed Easter.

VICTORIA SIMMONS is a columnist, motivational speaker/ minister and publisher/gm of The Post/Byron Buzz. Reach her by email at vsimmons54@gmail.com

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About vsimmons54

Veteran journalist of 40 years. Editor, Motivational Speaker, Ordained Minister, CEO of A Light in the Darkness Ministries, Lensclusive Photography, Babbling Brook Consulting and Design, event planner and author. I love to write and speak and I love Jesus. I also do copy writing and editing. Recently co-authored Vanished Towns Revisited.
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