The Importance of Meaning of The Cross
The Bible says, that In the Beginning God created Heaven and Earth, and He continued His labours for 6 Days until he finished his perfect work. On that 6th day he created Adam and Eve and breathed life into them, and he saw that his work was Good and from that we can draw the conclusion that it was perfect in every way.
Then Satan got involved and attempted to destroy God’s perfect work. Due to their disobedience, Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, never to return. From that moment on things became hard for man and even harder for the animal kingdom as I will explain.
Abraham was seen as being righteous in God eyes as he believed and trusted God with the fate of his son, Isaac, when he was asked to place him on the sacrificial altar, which he did and God said “I now know that you truly fear me, seeing that you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
Later Moses was selected by God to be a leader of God’s people, the Israelites, but as we all know they were an unruly people and began to rebel against God; they forgot that He had saved them from the bondage of the Pharaohs in Egypt. So God gave Moses the law. The patterns of sin were established, if they didn't do what was written down in the law they would die and suffer eternal separation from God. But God still loved his people and gave them a chance to redeem themselves by the offering of a sacrifice of different types of animals depending on the severity of the sin.
Although many animals would have been killed for food and clothing, to be slaughtered because of somebody else's wrong doing seems incredibly unfair. But God had a bigger plan for man and he wanted them to get used to the institution of sacrifice.
This carried on for a great number of years; in 1 Kings 8: 63 it says “Solomon offered as a peace offering to the Lord 22,000 Oxon and 120, 000 sheep” in just one festival. Man was using animals as a scape goat to allow them to continually sin freely. They just didn't get the message. God wasn't giving them a free pass to carry on sinning at the price of some poor animal, He was saying I love you so much that I don't want anyone to be separated from me for eternity and was giving them a way of escape because of his undying love for man.
At a last act of redemption, He sent His son to offer redemption for his people. Christ’s message was that forgiveness would no longer be achieved by the sacrifice of animals but by repentance and asking for Jesus’ forgiveness. God knew that there could be no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood and so Christ had to take on the responsibility of dying for us ALL so that we could be forgiven and thereby saved.
In these early times, animals were the Jews’ main possessions. To look at this through a modern lens, if I was to lie to someone, would I have to sacrifice my Ipad as a form of atonement? If I stole something would I have to sacrifice my 65in UHDTV with surround sound and internet connection with Netflix? If I had an affair would I have to give up my SUV? If I hurt somebody would I have to sacrifice my leather sofa or my dining table and chairs? Life would get less comfortable for us as we tried to regain acceptance to God.
Jesus took this step further when He said that even if we think about doing these wrong things it is sinful. If there was such a thing as 'The Thought Police' we would be in big trouble and probably have to lose everything we ever worked for.
But would that make any difference to the way we lived our lives? We might regret in the short time our action because of the loss of our possessions, but I think in time we would replace these things and carry on as before. Many renew their mobile phones or computers as soon as a new model comes out; some people have to change their clothes with changing fashion, a few even change their wives/husbands on a whim! We seem to attach little real value to many things in life.
For those who don’t know God, little to no value is attached to Christ's suffering and sacrifice for us; many continually and blindly stumble around trying to achieve more and more. In 1 Corinthians 1: 18 it says “For the Word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing.”
We should not forget that Christ superseded the need for possessional sacrifice, instead a circumcision of the heart is needed, by repentance and asking for forgiveness. His single sacrifice for all people for all time is perfect enough for God to grant forgiveness to those who love Christ and follow Him. Without the Death of Christ we would have no way to enter God's Kingdom, 'for the only way to the Father is through the Son', it is the shedding of His blood, however terrible that was, that is the only way for us to inherit our place in Heaven and we need to understand and value that.
It must have been in God's plan to arrange thing in the way that he has done, to in time get us used to the way of a blood sacrifice for entry in Heaven. But the most magnificent thing is that Christ offered himself up for that sacrifice without question and with full obedience to His Father. In response we are called to be obedient to Christ, to fully trust and follow Him. Christ did not sin, we unfortunately do, but God has given us a way of escaping by paying the price of sin through repentance and forgiveness and belief in his son, Jesus Christ.
Let's put such a higher value of that fact that we accept Christ as our saviour and follow His teachings and give thanks to Him for his sacrifice for each one of us. For He loves us to death, even death on the cross. That's the meaning of The Cross.
Written by Bill Adams