The Cross

The Bible calls Jesus the Second Adam. As the Second Adam, Jesus died to sin. When He lived in His fleshly body, He was alive to the power of sin and the pain and suffering it could cause Him. Through rejection, deprivation, persecution, and many other dealings with sinful man, sin continually tempted and hurt Him. When He laid down His life on the cross, He died completely to its power. Sin had no more dominion over Him, nor did it have the power to hurt Him again. through this selfless act of love, Jesus redeemed mankind.

It’s important to appreciate the price Jesus paid for our salvation. It’s the only way to know the value of His sacrifice. The writer of Hebrews reveals, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). To purge is to “get rid of whatever is impure or undesirable.” Blood is the only thing that can remove sin. For centuries, God used the blood of animals to teach us the importance of Jesus’ blood.

The Bible shows that it was necessary to shed blood for men from the very beginning. Immediately after declaring the curse on Adam and Eve, God killed an animal to provide clothing for them. Every important event in the Old Testament either preceded or followed animal sacrifice. God didn’t demand this because of His needs. It was done to illustrate the importance of Christ’s blood to man’s limited human understanding. It also revealed the immense sacrifice He would make for us.

In the Old Testament man had only one hope beyond the grave; this was God’s promise to Abraham. God gave Moses the Law while Israel wandered in the dessert. It was rigid. There was little flexibility in its demands. It declared “an eye for and eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

God promised Abraham a son who would be the source of a great nation. The nation of Israel would one day bring man’s Redeemer into the world. Abraham believed God. This was the only way Old Testament saints could have hope. It was on the promise that one day a Redeemer would come. Their hope was a future hope. They hoped that one day their Redeemer would be born of the seed of a woman.

The law was limited in what it could do for us. It could only point out our flaws. It told us how corrupt and evil we were, yet we had no power to change. It was like receiving an invitation to an elegant dinner and standing in front of a mirror to get ready. In the glass, you can clearly see a large smudge of dirt on your face and your uncombed hair. You try to wipe the dirt off your face and you realize that you can’t move your arms. Time is passing quickly, but you can’t wash your face or comb your hair. This is your only chance. You know you can never enter unless you are spotless. What can you do?

According to the law there was very little you could do except to wait for a promised comb, washcloth, and the freedom to move so you can use them. There is nothing you can do. You are completely dependent on someone else. Jesus brought the washcloth, the comb, and released us to have the freedom to clean up. It all came by His blood. His blood washes and cleans our hearts, giving us the power over self and Satan to get cleaned-up and to stay cleaned-up. Through His death on the cross and His resurrection, we can walk in the freedom God intended for his daughters.

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