This morning we are going to be looking at the purpose of the cross. Many people in the world care very little for the cross of Christ. They look at it as if it may or may not have happened. There is much disbelief that Jesus even existed. The Bible gives plenty of evidence for the historical fact that Jesus lived and that He died on the cross. But, many people today don't care much about it. The same was true in the first century.
- 1 Corinthians 1:18
The gospel is the good news that Jesus died on the cross to take our place, to die in our stead. It is the power of God for salvation.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." — Romans 1:16
The world sees it as foolishness, or perhaps a historical event, but has no significance for the world today. But, we see clearly that it is the power of God for salvation.
But, without the cross of Jesus the Christ, there would be no hope for any of us. It was on the cross that Christ shed his atoning blood.
- Hebrews 9:22
Without shedding of blood is no remission. The wages of sin is death, when we sin we are deserving of death, we deserve to have our blood, shed. Christ shed his blood in our stead, He took our place. took our death. He took our death in our stead.
Why Did Christ Die on the Cross?
Did He die as the result of a Divine miscalculation? Some say that Jesus came to establish a physical kingdom and the Jews rejected Him and crucified Him. And it took God by surprise, that God wasn't prepared for that so they left the church as a stop-gap to hold the place until They could make another attempt. Was it the result of a Divine miscalculation?
Was it so that only certain people could be saved, regardless of their desires or character? Was it merely the execution of seditious revolutionary?
None of these things!
We’re going to examine Seven Purposes for the Cross of Christ
1) Christ died on the Cross to Fulfill Old Testament Prophecy
Isaiah the 53rd chapter deals with the death of Jesus.
- Isaiah 53
Seven hundred years before Jesus lived we see his life, and his death foreshadowed in this prophecy. Contrary to the false doctrine of premillennialism, Christ was rejected by men and died on the cross just as the Old Testament Scriptures said he would. Some say that premillennialism teaches that what happened to Jesus took God by surprise and He wasn't prepared for it to happen. Yet the scriptures, throughout the Old Testament, are shown that His life fulfilled the prophecies.
- Luke 24:25-27
- Luke 24:44
- Acts 17:2-3
The Old Testament reveals over 300 prophecies concerning Jesus. He fulfilled every single one.
2) Christ died on the Cross to Take Away the Old Testament
Prophecies show that there would come a day when one would come and take away the old so that a new could be established. Second Corinthians 3:14 speaks of the Old Testament as a “vail” (covering, curtain) and then says, “which vail is done away in Christ.”
When Moses came down from the mountain after speaking with the Lord, that his face shown brightly with light. Therefore, he covered his face with a veil. Paul uses this as an example that in the New Testament, under the law of Christ, the veil is removed.
- Colossians 2:14
- Hebrews 8:13
The new covenant makes the old vanish away. It was in place for only a time for the Jewish people, but once it was taken away it was no longer for only the Jews but it was for all people, both Jew and Gentile.
- Hebrews 9:15-17
He made a new testament that took effect upon His death upon the cross. A testament can't come into effect until the death of the testator, thus, there must need be the death of Christ for the new testament to be established.
3) Christ died on the Cross to Establish the New Testament
There is a need for death so that the new could be established.
- Luke 16:16
- Hebrews 9:16-17
- Hebrews 10:9
We cannot live under two laws. It is under the new testament law that we will be judged today. Those who lived under the old law or the patriarchal law will be judged by those laws. Today, we will be judged by the law of Christ, the New Testament.
- John 12:48
- Acts 17:30-31
All men will be judged under the law of Christ, by Him, the new covenant that was put into place to reconcile both Jew and Gentile in one body.
4) Christ died on the Cross to Reconcile Jew and Gentile
Before Jesus went to the cross, the Israelites were God’s chosen people through whom the promised Messiah would come to make redemption possible. The Jews were selected because of this promise that He had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so that through them the Messiah would come.
Since the Lord came and died, the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people. Today, Christians are God’s chosen people. There is now no respect of persons or nationality with God. People from all nations serve God equally in the church.
- Acts 10:34-35
In every nation, those that do righteousness, and accept God, are God's chosen people. Those who have chosen God, and obey His righteousness are accepted of God and are His chosen people. God has made both Jews and Gentiles one.
- Ephesians 2:14-16
Christ died on the cross to reconcile Jew and Gentile into one body.
5) Christ died on the Cross to Purchase the Church with His Blood
The church of the New Testament is the kingdom that was promised in the Old Testament. The price paid for the church was Jesus’ death on the cross. The Apostle Paul told the elders of the church of Ephesus that Jesus bled and died for the church, purchasing it with his own blood.
- Acts 20:28
He bought it with His blood, paying the ultimate sacrifice to redeem it from sin.
- Ephesians 5:25
Without the church, there is no salvation!
Those who are IN the Lord’s body, his church, the kingdom, will be saved, for Christ is the savior of his body, the church.
- Ephesians 5:23;
- Ephesians 1:22-23
Since Jesus thought enough of the church to die for it, we must hold it supreme in our hearts and lives.
We must seek the kingdom and His righteousness first above all else.
- Matthew 6:33
The church is supreme to Him, and it should be supreme to us as well.
6) Christ died on the Cross to Redeem Man from His Sins
To redeem means to buy back. Jesus paid the price, the ultimate price, to buy sinners back from sin and death.
- 1 Corinthians 6:20
- 1 Peter 2:24
- 1 Peter 1:18-19
Christ died on the cross to redeem man from his sins.
7) Christ died on the Cross to Give us an Example
- 1 Peter 2:21
His devotion to the Heavenly Father’s cause was to do His will whatever the cost. He suffered and died that horrible death on the cross. He did so as an example, to be obedient to the Father even unto death. Our devotion should be the same.
The Lord’s whole life was to show us the Father.
- John 14:8-12
His whole life, everything that He did, even His death was there to show us the Father. Even his act of humility and service is vividly portrayed in John 13:2-17.
We see Jesus's greatest example, His humility when he washed His disciple’s feet. Our lives must be filled with labor, help, and service.
This world, and our existence in it, is about bringing praise and glory to the heavenly Father.
- Matthew 5:16
- 1 Corinthians 6:20
He bought us with a price. We ought to glorify God through Christ because He purchased us.
The purpose and accomplishment of the cross of Christ was for the benefit of all mankind.
The Lord’s sacrifice was not limited to only those who believe and obey the Lord as the doctrine of Calvinism claims. It claims that certain people were selected before the world even began so that those would receive salvation. Jesus died for all men. He died for all men, regardless of whether they accept and obey or not. But, if they do not obey they will not receive salvation.
- Hebrews 2:9
The Lamb of God was slain to take away the sin of the whole world.
- John 1:29
Jesus said his death was to draw all men unto Him.
- John 12:32
Jesus died for all men.
- Titus 2:11
- 1 John 2:2
To receive the benefits of the cross, one must obey the gospel. Condemnation is pronounced upon those who do not.
- 1 Peter 4:17
To obey the Gospel, one must do the things which He commands.
You must believe that Jesus is the son of God, repent of our sins, confess our faith in Christ, and put on Christ in baptism. Then, live a life faithful to Him.
If you were once a Christian but have turned back to the world, you can be restored to Him by repenting of your sins and living faithful once again.
If we can assist you in coming to know the purpose of the cross and what it means for your salvation, please contact us.