Theme: The cross is the most popular symbol in our world to this very day. People wear it on necklaces. We see it on paintings, on church buildings, in people's front yards, we even see it in tattoos. The cross is so much more than just a tattoo or a necklace, it's more than a painting or a statue. The cross is an instrument used for crucifixion. Jesus was crucified for you and me, and it's through His crucifixion that our sins are paid for and it's through faith in His work on the cross that we are brought back into a relationship with God!
1.. At the cross, Jesus was taking your place
It's not that Jesus died on a cross, it’s that Jesus died in your place!
Jesus got Barabbas off the cross because Jesus knew He had to get on the cross. Jesus traded places with Him, and in the same way, Jesus trades places with us.
Know who you are in the story! Your Barabbas.
When was the moment you realized that Jesus didn’t just die on a cross, but Jesus died in your place on the cross? Why is it a big deal to know he died in your place?
How does this truth change the way you view sin in your life?
2.. At the cross, Jesus was taking your curse
Crown of thorns
To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the fruit of the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil, you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat plants of the field.
Thorns and thistles represent the curse of sin in Genesis 3. Jesus wore a crown of thorns and the same way he bore those thorns he bore our sins on the cross!
Outside the city
The curse of sin is separation from God. Jesus was crucified outside the city as a symbol of being an outcast and being alienated from the city. Jesus became an outcast so he could set the outcast free. For all eternity Jesus walked with God in perfect fellowship and communion but on the cross, we see where he was alienated from God.
How does this truth stir your affections for Jesus?
How does this truth combat “cheap grace?” The misconception is that Jesus forgives me for my sin therefore I can live how I want to.
3.. At the cross Jesus was clothing you
By Christ living (sinlessness) His righteousness is credited to our account.
By Christ dying (sacrifice) our sin is credited to His account.
The payment for sin was paid for at the cross. His righteousness becomes a Gift.
This exchange is made when faith is expressed.
When you place your faith in Christ and His work on the cross His blood covers your sins and His righteousness is credited to your account!
Jesus was stripped so we could be clothed! He paid the sin debt for you so you could be clothed by His righteousness when you place faith in Him.
Question: How does this give you confidence in your walk with God as a believer? How does being clothed by Christ and hidden in Him change the way you walk with God?
4.. At the cross, Jesus was tearing heaven open for you
Matthew 27:51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn from top to bottom. In the old testament only the priest could enter into the holy of holies. To protect anyone else from getting in there a curtain was placed around the holy of holies. This holy of holies housed the presence of God. (Gods glory) Anything that stepped foot in there would die! Only the high priest had access at certain times and in certain ways on behalf of the people. At The cross, this curtain was torn from top to bottom, and now when we put our faith in Christ He puts his spirit in us and we have God's presence with us everywhere we go! The access that only the high priest had in the old testament is now given to everyone who puts faith in Christ as Hebrews 10:19-22 explains, 19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have the confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
What would change in your life if you walked in the reality that God lives in you and that you have access to God anytime and anywhere?