Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Meaning of the Cross; The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus

I know intuitively that Jesus is the original Son of God. I know intuitively that I benefit from his death burial and resurrection and, I know intuitively that I have an eternal relationship with the Father based upon Jesus and his cross. I feel the love of God as a result of the cross…but how …practically… do I see it work for me? What is atonement? What am I saved from and what am I saved to? I woke up this morning with an abiding knowing about the love of God, his mercy and grace and, the redemption that he has richly bestowed as the result of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus two thousand years ago.

What does the cross show me?

Well, the answer to this question is finally easy for me to answer. I think that it would be best to list the benefits of the cross in a list that I can develop as I go forward. I am using bullets because I do not know which of these should take precedent over the other. Here in bullet form is the meaning of the cross.
  • It demonstrates Jesus perfect faith and trust in a loving Father God
  • It demonstrates God the Father’s absolute faithfulness and trustworthiness
  • Jesus sacrificed his earthly kingdom
  • Jesus sacrificed his human agenda
  • Jesus established his perfect faith by being willing to die without seeing his earthly kingdom come to fruition
  • He did this based upon perfect communion with the Father
  • He showed me that I can believe and trust God
  • He was confident in the resurrection and his eternal connection with the Father
  • Because of his faith in the eternal; he set aside selfishness

It is so obvious to me that the sin he dealt with once and for all was the only true sin that exists in the heart of man.  What is it you ask? Unbelief!

Unbelief is the source of all selfishness and greed. Our inevitable mortality makes us unable to truly love and trust. Our inevitable mortality ignites our fear of death and the fear of death drives our lives. Faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus restores our sense of the eternal goodness in existence. It cleanses our conscience. We see Jesus as the first born of many sisters and brothers. We understand our connection in the family of God. It demonstrates the perfect love that God has for all of humanity and perfect love casts out all fear. Yes, fear is a tormenting presence that alienates us from our connection to the eternal.

My faith, our faith…in the death burial and resurrection of Jesus gives us peace with God and allows us, if we hang on to the faith….let me repeat…if we cling to the faith…it allows us to begin to love God and, from our love of God comes a willingness to love that which God loves. It enables us to love humanity.

The cross was not necessary for God…it is necessary for us!

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