The Cross

{Introducing a new All4God contributor, a guy I (Pete) went to school with – Matthew Kirk, a Christian currently studying History and Politics at Durham University, blessed with the revelation of the truth that Jesus Christ, the Living God, came to earth to die on the cross reconciling all who believe in Him to God and then rose agin three days later.}
Some thought on Luke 23:35-45
I don’t intend to do justice to the entire theology of Jesus’ death in one, short, late night, reflection on Luke’s account of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ… but it’s either this or procrastinate on facebook.
As Jesus hung on the Roman world’s most degrading and vile instrument of death [verse 35] tells us that people just watched, neither mourning nor rejoicing at his death… just watching, not taking sides but trying to stand in the middle and observe from a distance… Jesus never gave man this choice, we either believe in him or we do not, we either receive eternal life or we are condemned to eternal punishment (John 3:16-17). Man cannot just watch from afar and not make a decision.
[Luke 23:35-39] The Jewish rulers, Roman soldiers and even one of the criminals that hung beside Jesus all mocked Jesus. They all asked why if he was the Christ/the King why he did not save himself?! Good question? Well Jesus had answered this on a number of occasions he did not need to justify his actions to men who were bent on disbelief… Jesus had to die and he went willingly to the cross… These men refused to see Jesus for who he was, the Christ! The Messiah! The Saviour and promised redeemer! (Luke 1:68-75)
[verses:44-45]… The sixth hour… darkness came over the whole land… We all remember the 10 plagues of Egypt in the book of Exodus; darkness was one of the plagues God brought upon the wicked Pharaoh for refusing to let his people go free. In this instance and also in other countless instances, in the Bible, God speaks of how darkness is a picture of his judgement… Christ was being judged on the cross… He was being judged for us… he was dying for us… he was putting himself to death so that we would not be put to death… he was dying the death we all deserve to die… [verses:39-43] Jesus hung between two terrorists; the cross was reserved for the worst of criminals. These were bad men, you would have wanted nothing to do to them if you knew them and would be glad to see them up on the cross. One of them demanded that Jesus use his power and rescue them. The other criminal rebukes him… hours before his death he realises the seriousness of his crime, he knows that he deserves death and that he and his fellow are getting what they deserve… Whereas Jesus is dying a death he does not deserve… This is not all he realises though. In [Luke 23:42] he asks Jesus to remember him when He comes into His kingdom. On the cross that man realised that he had to stand trial again, before God, before Jesus himself. He knew that because of his sin he would meet Jesus again but next time Jesus would be the judge. In [verse 42] he begs for mercy, he does not demand salvation but as a condemned sinner moments from his last breath he cries out to the Judge to remember him… On the cross Jesus tells him he will be with his King in paradise.
There and then that man was justified in Christ. Not made sinless but declared righteous, that mans sins will not be held against him! He was justified by Christ on the cross! For Christ was dying on the cross paying the price for his sin!
Not only for his sin but also for my sin.
Not only for my sin but for your sin.
Christ bore the wrath of God for all who would believe in him and can say to every one of us that once we truly believe in his name, death and resurrection we will be with him in paradise.
Because of this the curtain was torn in two [verse 45], the way into the Most Holy Place was torn down! Man has been reconciled to God through Christ alone on the Cross, for on the Cross Christ died for sinners. He died for you and me.
This is why the Cross is good news! Christ died ONCE for ALL, the RIGHTEOUS for the UNRIGHTEOUS to bring YOU to GOD! The payment is sure and it is final, all who trust in the Cross of Christ, no matter how late on in life can have cast iron assurance in this. Your sins are forgiven you and will not ever be held against you! Instead they were held against Christ.
What is the application? There can only be one application, submit to God and his rule. This is how far he was willing to go to reconcile you to him. You cut yourself off from God by your sin and unless you accept the salvation offered through Christ you will remain cut off forever and will suffer eternally under God’s wrath. You deserve this punishment because your crime is appalling; you rejected God in God’s world, His authority in His world. You need to let Christ pay for your sin or else you will be left to pay it yourself… and you will pay for it forever.
By the Grace of GOD ALONE I have been saved… have you?

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