The Need For The Cross

As we approach Easter, I’m well aware of the fact that many people will simply ignore the day. Some (at least those in the northern hemisphere) will also celebrate it as a “spring is here” day, commemorating the new life in nature demonstrated by buds on trees, green replacing the colorless world of winter, baby birds pushing out of eggs.

But the resurrection of Jesus? No need for such “myths,” many will say.

The resurrection, of course, hinges on the cross. Jesus had to die first before He could be raised incorruptible.

In fact His death was not an act of martyrdom. It wasn’t the tragedy that spawned a movement.

Rather, Jesus did something no one else could do. The nails that crashed into His hands and feet, essentially nailed the “certificate of debt” owed to God by every sinner, to that cross.

The blood Jesus spilled that day was that of a Perfect and Unblemished Lamb—chosen to make redemption possible. His blood did exactly what the blood of the Passover lamb did: it covered those “under the blood” so that the angel of judgment would pass over that place.

Jesus paints His own blood over the doorposts of our heart, so that we who believe He did what He did and promised what He promised, will be redeemed in the exact same way.

Because Jesus went to the cross, anyone of any race or gender or culture or age can now receive remission of that debt we could not pay—the wages of sin which is death itself.

Some people think that God unfairly judges, that “nice” people or “good” people should go free. But that’s like saying the nice rapist should go free or the good business man or great basketball player who abuses his wife should go free.

Because the truth is, we all fall short of God’s standard.

Some people think God is terrible for “sending millions of people to hell.” But the truth is, those “millions” who make themselves God’s enemies, don’t want an eternity with Him.

Some people claim God is cruel for allowing suffering. But again, He has only given way to what people who oppose Him want or have earned:

“Your ways and your deeds
Have brought these things to you.
This is your evil. How bitter!
How it has touched your heart!” (Jeremiah 4:18).

Which brings us back to the debt of sin and the cross that cancels it.

If someone says God is “unfair” for giving laws He knew we wouldn’t keep, they’re missing one important ingredient: holiness. God is perfect, without spot, righteous. A different standard simply would be other than perfect, not holy, marred. Fellowship with a perfect God is not possible for imperfect people.

Unless God makes it possible.

The cross did just that.

Couldn’t God have just changed the rules, waved away the requirement for sin?

Well, that leaves out an important ingredient too: justice.

God is as just as He is holy. When His law is broken, when the debt is owed, He requires payment.

So Jesus paid at the cross.

It’s kind of funny. Of all the objections I’ve heard about Christianity and God’s plan of salvation, I don’t think I’ve ever heard an objection to God loving humanity so much He was willing to die.

Sure, I’ve heard that God the Father was committing child abuse by sending His Son to die. But that’s all wrong. His will was to save the world. He didn’t send a “second god” or a “lesser god” or a human iteration of Himself to die. Jesus is God and Jesus went to the cross even though He could have commanded legions of angels to come rescue Him. He didn’t because “of the joy set before Him.” That joy was each and every person who would love Him back.

The cross is the greatest symbol of God’s love. There Jesus showed God’s love, cancelled the debt of sin, washed away sin, provided a way of escape from the result of sin, and reconciled all who believe in Him to God.

In short, without the cross, there would be no Easter.

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11 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on The love of God and commented:
    This is just good teaching. Thank You Father.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for sharing this article with the visitors to your blog!

      Becky

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  2. This Easter thing is without doubt another ancient story made up by ancient people who were superstitious and always dependent on various gods to explain everything in life and where human and animal sacrifice to a god was a common occurrence and this typical way of life for those times is well verified.

    To go off topic a little, Jesus as described in the Bible is unlikely to have existed, mostly because the stories of Jesus have no foundation of evidence and many of the stories are similar or copied from much earlier religions. The scripture writers were mostly unknowns, today’s Bible has been changed from the original, Jesus never wrote anything to verify he existed, the Romans who kept records of major events had recorded nothing substantial to verify Jesus of Nazareth existed, and that Nazareth is also not proven to have existed.

    We now have science that explains most events that happen on this planet and we no longer sacrifice people and animals in civilised societies, however this is a fact lost on religious people.

    I take my hat off to you Becky and the other theists as you must have a phenomenal amount of faith and hope to believe everything that you read in the Bible is true to the letter and to not question any of it or at least have doubts about any of the claimed events that are very obviously unsubstantiated and unbelievable.

    Science can actually understand more and can start to explain why you believe in gods and how it changes the brain and effects your cognitive functions, however, because it is science, you will always refuse to accept it just as history has proven many times.

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    • Steven, please don’t use my blog to spread your atheist propaganda. You have NO PROOF whatsoever that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ was something contrived from other ancient stories. The Bible records eyewitness accounts. I understand you don’t believe them, but you have nothing but your own opinion. Nothing. You have no evidence at all.

      To suggest that Jesus didn’t exist is ignorant. You clearly haven’t read the posts I’ve done on this kind of thing. It’s nothing more than people making stuff up because they don’t want to believe the truth.

      As far as things in the Bible being “unsubstantiated and unbelievable,” you yourself admit you’re wrong there, Steve, because you say in the same sentence that I and other theists like me DO believe everything in the Bible.

      You are sadly mistaken if you think Christians don’t question. Sadly! Did you see InsanityBytes’ post today? https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2018/03/19/what-would-you-ask/

      The thing you miss, consistently, is that science and Christianity are not at odds. THEY. ARE. NOT. ENEMIES. God made science! There’s nothing wrong with science. The only thing that’s wrong is the conclusion atheists arrive at that cuts God out of the equation.

      Did you look at a single one of those videos I linked to for you, Steve? If you’re not willing to look at at least one short video, I really don’t think we have anything more to say to each other about this subject because you will continually spew false information which is undocumented, while refusing to read the Bible or even to look at scientific video clips that refute your false ideas. I’m sorry, I really, really am.

      Becky

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      • I have watched the scientific video clips that are unrecognised by all leading scientists.

        Your comment Becky, “You have NO PROOF whatsoever that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ was something contrived from other ancient stories.”

        Well, yes, I do, it is the similar type of written evidence or “proof” taken from ancient transcripts just as you have.

        From Wikipedia, “Examples of gods who die and later return to life are most often cited from the religions of the Ancient Near East, and traditions influenced by them including Biblical and Greco-Roman mythology and by extension Christianity.”

        “These examples range from Baldr in Norse mythology to the feathered serpent Quetzalcoatl in Aztec mythology to the Japanese Izanami”

        “The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung proposed that the myths of the pagan gods who symbolically died and resurrected foreshadowed Christ’s literal/physical death and resurrection.”

        “Such as a number of figures in ancient Greek religion, actually died as ordinary mortals, only to become gods of various stature after they were resurrected from the dead. Not dying as gods.”

        You say “It’s nothing more than people making stuff up because they don’t want to believe the truth.” And “science and Christianity are not at odds.”

        Can you present some evidence of what would be rampant scientific fraud regarding this issue? Your statement is contradictive to science and suggests you are unable to accept scientific reality.

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        • Steve, you need to read my comment more closely. You have given me NO EVIDENCE that the accounts of Jesus have anything to do with the stories in other cultures.

          And since I said science and Christianity are NOT at odds, how strange that you ask for examples of “rampant scientific fraud.” Nothing is wrong with science, but the conclusions atheists draw from science is not true because they leave God out of the picture for no good reason. They have NO PROOF that God didn’t do what He said He did—create the world, the details of which are not all laid out for us.

          I find it rather telling that you want to ignore the truth in those short videos, since all they are is PURE science. But you don’t accept them because you want to pick and choose which scientists to believe. That, Steve, is the definition of faith. You have faith in a certain set of scientists who reach the conclusions that agee with your world view, and you ignore—I mean, really, absolutely, without comment—ignore ones that don’t lend themselves to your preconceived conclusions. If you applied any reason at all to those clips, you’d at least have questions. Nothing was fabricated, other than the animations used for illustration, and those line up with any you’ll find in any other science article, video, text. But horrors! They didn’t come from your list of approved sources. You are more narrow in your thinking than any Christian I know, Steve.

          Becky

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          • For the record, the link to the videos I mentioned is https://rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/the-mercy-of-god/ in the comments section. The first one is narrated by a physical chemist. The second link is an open letter to an atheist, and the third is nothing but scientific information, without any identification of the narrator. But the point is, are they wrong? Is any one of those wrong? And if not, why would you dismiss them because they don’t come from your approved list of atheist scientists?

            Becky

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  3. “Some people claim God is cruel for allowing suffering. But again, He has only given way to what people who oppose Him want or have earned:”

    So…babies born with severe birth defects deserve it either directly for their own sins or indirectly as a way to punish their parents.

    Keep in mind that one journalist reporting on an orphanage full of babies with microcephaly caused by the zika virus said that the babies seem to cry differently than “normal” babies. The zika babies seem to be whimpering in pain, which makes sense as their brains are constricted by skulls that are too small.

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    • So what about crack babies, Catherine? Don’t you see that, yes, children do suffer for the sins of their parents? And if directly, why not indirectly as well? The thing is, God knows each of these people. He knows what He can and wants to accomplish in their lives, which He can do whether they have disabilities or not. He can comfort and He can heal and He can save. HE is not the problem. He’s the one offering to rescue us.

      So sad that you or anyone else would run from the very Person who can make a difference.

      Becky

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  4. “It’s kind of funny. Of all the objections I’ve heard about Christianity and God’s plan of Salvation, I don’t think I’ve ever heard an objection to God loving humanity so much He was willing to die.”

    Well, this has 2 different answers.

    1) God didn’t really die, so it’s not like the sacrifice was real. The Bible claims that many people saw Christ walking around after the crucifixion, so death was a permanent unknown state. When a human martyr sacrifices themselves for others, they do so not *really* knowing what will happen on the other side. They can have faith, but that’s not the same as truth. God knew that dying wasn’t going to stop him from doing his own thing.

    Also, JK Rowling brings this up in one of the Harry Potter books when assigning Harry a paper on why burning witches was pointless: a real witch can do a simple freezing charm and rather than being burned will enjoy a pleasant tickling sensation and can disapparate when they need to “die”. God would be equally able to fake the pain of a crucifixion, again making the act ultimately meaningless compared to a true human sacrifice.

    **If Jesus was seen alive after the crucifixion, he wasn’t human, regardless of what he claimed.

    2) Assuming Jesus was just a human activist, he was merely spinning his death into the best possible way for the cause. It’s not like he walked up to Pontus Pilate and requested to be crucified. He could have died for his convictions, yes, but that’s different from truly dying so that others may live. Again, there’s no real proof that Jesus dying actually changes things after death (because no one has survived true death).

    I recently read a book about Jonestown and how relatively easy it was for Jones to convince a lot of people to kill themselves for his cause. Would it be that difficult for someone to convince his followers that his death had significant meaning? In all honestly, dying on the cross was the easier “miracle”. It would have been more miraculous for Jesus to defy all the odds and live after repeatedly pissing off the murderous government. As it was, Jesus simply played the hand he was dealt, not cheating to show himself as really the one in charge.

    Jesus had a really bad tendency to only preform miracles on his own terms. This sounds suspiciously like Jim Jones’ ability to only heal people he’d prepped in advance.

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    • Catherine, just because Christ rose from the dead don’t think He didn’t really die. That’s like saying since you and I will pass from death to life, we never really died. Of course He died. There were as many witnesses of His death as there were of His resurrected life.

      Why would anyone “assume Jesus was just a human activist”? You have to have proof that what the eyewitnesses report, wasn’t so. Just inventing something about someone else is usually called slander.

      And of course Jesus was human. He was born, grew up, had friends, ate, slept, cried, reasoned, debated, got tired, and He died. Again, to think something else just because . . . well, for no reason than that you don’t want to believe the written record, is not any kind of scholarship. It’s closer to wishful thinking. Sort of like, I don’t know what to do with Jesus, so I’ll just pretend he wasn’t really human.

      The thing from Harry Potter is, well, fiction. Except it does point to one truth about Jesus. He could have stopped the crucifixion if He’d wanted to. But He didn’t because He would rather pay the price for sin than have each and every one of us pay the price for sin.

      Becky

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