In organizational behavior, the foundational premise is, behavior is not random. In Christianity, the foundation is the cross. In saying this I am not talking about a wooden cross in the ground or a metal cross that you hand around your neck, although I think these things are fine, but I’m talking about the meaning behind the cross. In this article I want to deal with the significance of the cross.
The Significance of the Cross
1 Peter 2:24-25 stated, “‘He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’ For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (NIV). Mankind was in rebellion. We had gone astray. Not just those listed in the Bible, but all of us have this problem. And the penalty was death.
Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future and bore them on the cross. Through His sacrifice an atonement was made for us. If you break down the word atonement you can better decipher the word. At-one-ment- is what this word really means. God and man are brought into a relationship in which they are at one. Another word that can be used is reconciliation.
Because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, this sacrifice only had to be offered once. In the Old Testament, the atonement or kippur was only a covering. Every year the Israelites had to get a temporary fix or covering. “But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:3-4, NIV). However, notice what the writer of Hebrews says about Jesus, “But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14, NIV, emphasis mine). In other words this sacrifice was potent enough to, not just cover our sins, but to remove our sins from us.
Notice how John the Baptist introduces Jesus. “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29, NIV, emphasis mine). This is what Peter meant when he said that “we might die to sins and live for righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24, NIV), the cross can break the power of sin over our lives. We can be free from the ravages and repercussions of sin.
Not only is the cross a source of power that will liberate me from sin, but at the cross is where I find my healing. Again consider the Words of 1 Peter 2:25, “‘by his wounds you have been healed.’ For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (NIV).
The idea is a sheep that has wondered away from the Shepherd. On his or her own, the sheep experienced great hardships and difficulties. But then the loving Shepherd came and rescued the sheep. He takes the time to bind up the wounds and to apply the necessary remedies to heal those wounds. Let me be clear here, this loving healing touch is not just for those who have gone astray. That same Shepherd cares for those who experience sickness within the flock as well. Why, because the Shepherd loves the flock.
The point is, it is at the cross, or due to this great selfless act of one who sacrificed His life for ours, that now the power of sin is broken. We do not have to be a slave to addiction. We do not have to be bullied by temptation and difficulties. And in our woundedness, it is here that we can find healing, physically and spiritually.
Question: What does the cross mean to you?