BIBLE READING: 1PETER 3:18-20
“Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to willingly give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a good man [one who is noble and selfless and worthy] someone might even dare to die. But God clearly shows and proves His Own Love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore, since we have now been justified [declared free of the guilt of sin] by His blood, [how much more certain is it that] we will be saved from the [wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the Death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today].” Romans 5:7-10(AMP)
The fall and the provision for man’s redemption by the Trinity through the Cross was not an afterthought but a Preordained Show of God’s Love – “How blessed is God! And what a blessing He is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the High Places of blessing in Him. Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His Love, to be made whole and holy by His Love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ.(What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his Beloved Son. Ephesians 1:3-6(MSG) God did not withhold His Son (see John 3:16) and the Son surrendered to the Father by willingly laying down His Life (see 1John 3:16).
The Cross of Jesus is the Bridge between man and God because the fall of man spiritually killed and separated man from God: “And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins.” Ephesians 2:1(AMP). The Cross is not only where our sin was paid for or where the devil was conquered but the Shape of Christianity because it is a Relationship with God powered by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Cross of Jesus is a Codified Solution God designed for man and is deemed as foolishness to the world and to those who are perishing – “For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19).
After Jesus explained to His disciples that He must suffer, He tells them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Paul embodies the Cross in his ministry, becoming the fragrance of death as he is lead on in a triumphant procession (see 2 Corinthians. 2:14–17) and he even said he has been crucified with Christ (see Galatians 2:20). Christianity without the Cross is a sham because the Cross is God’s Last Card in His Missionary Quest to redeem man.
The Cross has a Multifaceted Anatomy which portrays a diverse relationship model consisting of Upreach, Inreach and Outreach. This anatomy of the Cross will be discussed subsequently to give us a clear expectation of our conduct by virtue of the possibility the Cross has granted man.
Father, I thank You for your Eternal Love and the second chance you granted me by the Provision of the Cross. I receive the Sacrifice of Jesus and the bundle of possibilities which the Cross has provided for me. I receive Grace to live a consecrated life so I will not crucify our Lord Jesus a second time by my lifestyle. Amen.