The Cross Is: Justification and Reconciliation
In the deepest of tragedies, our culture is systematically removing the cross from the public life. It is more comfortable to minimize sin than it is to see it as it is - a deep affront to the heart of God that required the highest sacrifice to set right. Yet by pushing out the cross, we are pushing out our only hope for life.
Every day, we live and move and breathe under what Jesus did for us on the cross. Jesus firmly established four magnificent, life-changing, chain-breaking realities that we live under every day: atonement, redemption, justification, and reconciliation.
On the cross, Jesus justified us. Jesus not only paid the price for our sin; He cleared us of the guilty charges against us and granted us right standing before God.
Read Galatians 3:27. When we surrender our lives to Christ, we become clothed in the righteousness of Jesus. So every time the Father looks at us, He sees us as righteous because He sees us through the Son. This is why Paul could confidently say, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). By faith, we can stand before God, covered in the blood-bought righteousness of Christ. There can be no condemnation because, in Christ, there is nothing to condemn.
On the cross, Jesus reconciled us to the Father. God tells us that because of our sin, we are at enmity with Him (Romans 5:10). But because of what Jesus did on the cross, that is not the end of the story.
On the cross, Jesus met all of the Father's requirements for righteousness. He broke every barrier that put distance between us and the perfect and holy God, giving us access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18). At the cross, Jesus removed all that was between us and God, throwing open the doors of heaven to invite us in.
Beloved, do not minimize the cross, for it is your very life. When you sin and you begin to drown in shame, run as fast as you can to the cross. Remember all that Jesus did for you there. Remember how you did nothing, but because of His great love for you, on the cross God did everything. Receive what God did for you there, once again. Cling to that old rugged cross.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I run to the cross and acknowledge that I can do nothing apart from You. Thank You for justifying me and reconciling me. Forgive me for the times I have minimized sin. Help me to cling to You daily. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us" (Ephesians 1:7-8).
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