My Bible study notes for tonight. I have just touched the surface on this awesome topic.
The cross of Jesus Christ was not simply a wooden stake, but so much more. We must understand what was nailed to this cross, what was carried on this cross and what was put on the cross to really understand the essence of Christianity. Scripture tells us the there was so much that was nailed to this cross that any man, woman or child can come to Jesus Christ, confess him as their Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead, and receive all the benefits and blessings accomplished on the cross by his death and resurrection. Our sins, our sicknesses, our pains, our separation from God, the curse of death, the law, our rebellion, all the consequences of sin, oppressions, depressions, sorrows, all bondage of heart and life, Satan’s claim to our life and everything that could ever hold us back from a vibrant and living relationship with God was nailed to the cross. It was by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that we are given life to the fullest and complete freedom from every fear, every anxiety, every worry and every prison of the mind or soul. We have so often fallen far short of understanding the magnificent work accomplished on the cross of Christ and in His resurrection. Jesus Christ is our Passover lamb (I Corinthians 5:7) and the parallel truths with the book of Exodus are breathtaking. As the original Passover did in the times of Moses, Jesus Christ by the shedding of his blood on the cross gives us protection from any plague, gives us wholeness, healing, salvation and life, gives us mercy and protects us from the judgment of God, guards the doorway of our heart, delivers us from our oppressors and releases us from the land of bondage and brings us into the promised land. Everything in our current and future destiny is built upon and wrapped up in this Passover sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
I Peter 1:3-5; 18-23 (NIV):
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
We have a living hope, a new birth and an inheritance by the redemption accomplished with the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. The Christian lives his life knowing the redemption Christ accomplished. The price of our redemption is the value we place on the Life given for our forgiveness. Our former lives were “aimless” because of the value we placed on possessions and our own satisfaction. Now our lives have direction because we count Christ’s sacrifice as priceless!
Let’s examine some of the great truths revealed in the cross of Christ and His perfect sacrifice for us.
I Peter 2:24 (KJV):
24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
I Peter 2:24 clearly proclaims that “by his stripes we have been healed.” The word “stripes” in the Greek is a welt, wale, bruise or wound caused by blows; it is the mark left on the body by the beating with a rod or a whip or the fist; it is a lashing that draws blood. It literally means a “battle face” which is a face that looks like it has been through an extreme battle, war, or fight. In the Hebrew, it means: the mark or print of blows in the skin. Jesus Christ was subject to savage beatings by the religious leaders and the Romans over a period of time of about forty (40) hours, from the time of his arrest until the time of his death. The vicious blows on the body of Jesus Christ began during his illegal trial, when one of the officers of the temple was offended by Jesus’ remark to Annas, the high priest, and struck him with a rod (more accurate translation from the Greek). The Greek word “smitest” in John 18:23, describing this beating, means “to skin, flay or scourge.” The rod would have been a thin, flexible whip-like cane. Upon hitting the face, it would easily bend and wrap around the face, cutting the flesh. The Greek words used in the Gospel accounts indicate that they skinned, flayed, or thrashed him with their hand, fist, rod, or weapon and violently beat and pummeled him with repeated blows. This opened terrible wounds on the body and face of Jesus.
Later the Romans would brutally beat and flog Jesus beginning with the scourging ordered by Pontius Pilate. The soldiers stripped Jesus, tied him to a post, and savagely flogged him. The Romans used a scourge of cords or leather thongs to which were attached pieces of lead, brass, or small sharp pieces of bone. The whipping on the bare back would hideously gouge the flesh, literally plowing it loose from the ribs and vertebrae. In Word Studies of the Greek New Testament, Wuest expounds more on this brutal Roman scourging:
Criminals condemned to crucifixion were ordinarily
scourged before being executed. The victim was
stripped to the waist and bound in a stooping position,
with the hands behind the back, to a post or pillar.
The suffering under the lash was intense. The body
was frightfully lacerated. The Christian martyrs at
Smyrnaabout A.D. 155 were so torn by the scourges
that their veins were laid bare, and the inner muscles
and sinews and even the bowels were exposed. The
Greek word translated “stripes” refers to a bloody wale
trickling with blood that arises under a blow. The word
is singular, not plural. Peter remembered the body of
our Lord after the scourging, the flesh so dreadfully
mangled that the disfigured form appeared in his eyes
as one single bruise. Thus we have the portrait of the
suffering Servant of Yahweh. His blessed face so
pummeled by the hard fists of the mob that it did not
look like a human face anymore. His back lacerated
by the Roman scourge so that it was one mass of open,
raw, quivering flesh trickling with blood.
The Romans made an art form of crucifixion as a means of capital punishment after borrowing the idea from the Greeks and Phoenicians. The Jews thought it a most disgusting form of death. In Jesus’ day, crucifixion was considered so gruesome that it was reserved for slaves and the worst criminals or enemies of the state. Death usually took days unless the victim had been severely beaten or scourged first, which was often the case. To maximize the impact, crucifixions often occurred along public highways or other very visible areas, as lessons for all of what would happen to enemies of the state or incorrigibles. The Romans usually left the bodies to rot or be eaten by scavengers. No doubt Jesus had seen the remains of many crucifixions as He traveled up and down Galilee and Judea. He knew He would someday experience it firsthand.
Crucifixion was shameful not only as a penalty, but also as a process. In most cases, the victim was stark naked—allowed little or no loin cloth. Imagine being a sinless person, having committed no crime or sin, yet exposed to all who passed by. Being a modest man, Jesus was ashamed to have to be exposed to His mother and the other women, the apostle John and a multitude of spectators, male and female. What humiliation our Savior endured for us!
The theme of “the shame of the cross” is discussed in Scripture. Notice two passages in Hebrews. . . . looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (12:2);. . . if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. (6:6)
The Agony of Crucifixion
Any criminal of that time would have despaired to learn he was to be crucified. Crucifixion was not only an execution, but also a method of torture. The Romans usually gave the victim an excruciating scourging first. Jesus was no exception. Before He ever touched His cross, He was scourged, beaten and insulted. Over the years we have heard quite a bit about the Roman lictor, the soldier charged with dispensing this dreaded punishment. He used a whip, often with imbedded pieces of metal, bone or other sharp objects. Romans did not limit their lictors to the Israelite practice of “forty stripes save one,” nor to striking just the victim’s back. He would let the whip strike and wrap around every inch of the person’s body until he was within an inch of death.
Imagine yourself in Christ’s situation, with the skin flayed off so that you could count all your bones. Add to that the searing pain of huge nails being pounded into your hands and ankles as soldiers pinned you to the stake. Now add the emotional pain of being denied and forsaken by all your friends. On top of everything else, He had to endure the taunts and ridicules of those for whom He was dying. The effects of this scourging are vividly described in Psalms.
Psalm 129:3 (KJV):
The plowers plowed upon my back; they made
long their furrows.
Rows of ploughed flesh lined Jesus’ back from these beatings, as his back looked like a freshly ploughed field with deep furrows. Yet the brutal beatings and stripes that Jesus Christ bore for your healing was not done. After the death sentence by crucifixion, Pilate sent Jesus into the judgment hall, the Praetorium, with a cohort of four to six hundred Roman soldiers, who gathered to mock and torture him some more. They put on his head a crown of thorns, composed of twigs broken off from a thorny plant which grew on wasteland nearby. These thorns were long, sharp, and re-curved and were driven into his scalp causing festering wounds and profuse bleeding. They viciously flogged Jesus again as the cruel mocking and terrible scourging lasted into the night, and in the morning they dragged Jesus out of the judgment hall to be crucified.
God gave Isaiah revelation concerning this brutality of our Lord’s sacrifice for us.
Isaiah 50:6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible):
I gave My back to those who beat Me, and
My cheeks to those who tore out My beard.
I did not hide my face from scorn and spitting.
Isaiah 52:14 (NIV):
Just as there were many who were appalled at
Him-his appearance was so disfigured beyond
that of any man and his form marred beyond
New Jerusalem Bible:
As many people were aghast at him-he was so
inhumanly disfigured that he no longer looked
like a man.
All of the devilish forces of hell were unleashed upon the body of Jesus, and he was beaten so badly that it grossly disfigured his appearance beyond human likeness. You could hardly even recognize that he was a man as they ravaged his back and face with cruel scourging, and viciously pummeled his face with their fists and rods, even ripping out his beard. His body was a massive bloody mess of torn and ripped flesh that caused him extreme agony and pain. Jesus went through this unimaginable physical and mental torture to pay the price for our sins, our sicknesses, our pains, and our infirmities. At any moment during this torment and anguish, Jesus could have called 72,000 angels to stop the madness and free him from this torture (Matthew 26:53). But he chose instead to endure the cross, to endure the pain, to endure the beatings, to endure the mocking and to endure the torture because he loved you and me. When Jesus was beaten, mocked and crucified, he had you on his mind. Jesus would have gone through all the agony of the crucifixion for you, even if you would have been the only person who would ever believe and be saved. That is how special and valuable you are to our Lord.
After a while on the stake, the condemned person found it difficult to breathe. He could help himself a little by bracing his body upward with his legs and knees, but once he could no longer do this, he slowly died by asphyxiation. To hasten death, the Roman executioners would sometimes break the victim’s legs with a club—which they did to the two robbers (John 19:31-32). When they came to Jesus, they found Him already dead and so did not break any of His bones (verse 33; Psalm 34:20).
Jesus gasped, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and finally to the Father, who gave Him to us because He loved us so much, our Savior prayed, “Into your hands I commend My spirit” (Luke 23:46). So Jesus died with a quiet confidence that He had finished the work His Father had sent Him to do.
Appreciating the Crucifixion
So Jesus died, but not just any death. He died the death of a convicted criminal, put to death by execution in the most painful and shameful way man could devise. The crucifixion showed the horror, the ugly and disgusting shame, the heaviness and the suffering caused by sin. All sin. Every sin. Even “tiny” sins. Even “secret” sins. Your sins. My sins. All of them.
It is so easy to sin and think, “I can repent later.” This comes perilously close to taking the crucifixion for granted as we put Jesus to open shame, pain and a slow gruesome death. Let’s understand and appreciate what He did for us more than ever. Perhaps it can help us become more aware of sin and more determined to resist it!
At the moment the sharp point of the Roman spear sliced open Jesus’ side, the veil of the temple tore in two (Matthew 27:50-51). Jesus, our High Priest, opened the way for all of us—any time we wish—to enter the Holiest of all, the very presence of the Father. The Captain of our salvation gave us this access by His torn body and shed blood to cleanse us of all sin (Hebrews 10:19-22). The cross or stake became the symbol of what He did for us: die in our stead so we can be forgiven of all sin.
After His resurrection, as Mary Magdalene was about to embrace Him (John 20:17), Jesus made a very meaningful comment: “I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.” Wow! Because of what He had just done, this statement was possible. We now have the same Father Jesus has! And we gained one awesome big brother—Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12 tells us that with great joy Jesus endured the cross, because he knew he was paying the price for our complete deliverance and redemption. Jesus died in our stead; he paid the penalty for our sin and its consequences; he bore our sins, our sicknesses, our pains and our infirmities; he was savagely beaten and crucified for you so that he could justify you, make you righteous, sanctify you, and bring you into the family of God as a son and daughter. He broke the authority of sin, sickness, and disease by his sacrifice on the cross. He delivered us from the authority and power of darkness and gave us full citizenship in his kingdom. What a Savior! What a Lord! The love of Christ is so big that it is beyond human understanding that Jesus would bear the ultimate physical and mental torture and gross disfigurement of the crucifixion and die on the cross for you and me. We are made whole by the blood he shed for us and the body he allowed to be broken for us.
The prophet Isaiah further expounds on what Jesus bore on his cross and the physical, mental and spiritual healing that are part of our redemption.
Isaiah 53:3-7 (KJV):
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of
sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as
it were our faces from him; he was despised, and
we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs (Hebrew choliy-sickness)
and carried our sorrows (Hebrew-makob-pains: both
physical and mental): yet we did esteem him stricken,
smitten of God and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was
bruised (Hebrew-shalowm-crushed, broken, shattered)
for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was
upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned
everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on
him the iniquity of us all.
The Word of God proclaims that Jesus bore our sicknesses and carried our pains. God emphasizes this indisputable truth by the word “surely” in verse 4, which means “truly, certainly and absolutely” and indicates its stability, faithfulness, firmness, and truth. The word “borne” in the Hebrew means: to lift up, to be taken away, to be carried off, to be swept away, and to move by bearing. The word “carry” in the Hebrew means: to bear a heavy load or burden. Both words do not just mean suffering, but denote an actual substitution and a complete removal of the thing borne. Jesus took upon himself every sickness, every pain, and every sin known to man, and paid the price for each one, effectively discharging their power and bondage over us. Your sicknesses, your pains, your sins and all of their consequences passed from you to Calvary and salvation, health, deliverance, and peace flowed from Calvaryto you. Jesus Christ was our complete substitute for sin and its consequences, which includes sickness, disease, infirmity, depression, anxiety, weakness, oppression, and all bitterness of mind and body.
Romans 5:1,2,8-11 (Amplified):
THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to ]enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 2Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. 8But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us. 9Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [[g]resurrection] life. 11Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.
The book of Romans sets forth the importance of this one man, the second Adam, the Savior and Redeemer of the human race for all who believe.
Romans 5:15,17,18 (Amplified Bible):
But God’s free gift is not all to be compared
to the trespass [His grace is out of all
proportion to the fall of man]. For if many
died through one man’s falling away (his
lapse, his offense), much more profusely
did God’s grace and the free gift that comes
through the undeserved favor of the one
Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to
and for the benefit of many.
For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse,
offense) death reigned through that one,
much more surely will those who receive
God’s overflowing grace (unmerited favor)
and the free gift of righteousness [putting
them into right standing with Himself] reign
as kings in life through the one Man Jesus
Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One.)
Well then, as one man’s trespass [one man’s
false step and falling away led] to condemnation
for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness
leads to acquittal and right standing with God
and life for all men.
God revealed His ultimate plan of grace with the Seed of the woman, the second Adam, Jesus Christ, who by His death and resurrection made available the free gift of righteousness leading to acquittal from the penalty of sin and right standing again with God. The court of God legally pronounces the declaration of acquittal when a man or woman confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and believes God raised Jesus from the dead. Sin and death reign in this world because of Adam’s one act of disobedience, but now through the obedience of one man, Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice, we can reign as kings in this life and the one to come.
What Jesus did is far greater than
what Adam did. Greater in its nature. Greater
in its power. Greater in its effect.
What Jesus Christ accomplished at Calvary is so magnificent, so awesome and so astounding, that it permanently crippled Satan’s kingdom and one day will obliterate every remnant of it from off the face of the earth. The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important event in all of human history, because he broke the curse of sin and death that hangs over the world like a dark cloud. He regained everything that Adam and Eve had lost on that tragic day in the Garden of Eden and so much more. He paid the price for the complete redemption and salvation of the soul of every person who comes to Him. Through Jesus Christ, righteousness is restored to a person so that they can stand in the presence of God without any sense of fear, shortcoming, guilt, or unworthiness. The ability to have deep fellowship and communion with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ has been recovered and given as a gift to all those who confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
The Court of God has wiped our slate clean; we are as white as snow, as our redeemer has paid the ransom and penalty for our sin. We no longer have to live in bondage to sin, fear, worry, sickness, disease, poverty, misery, hatred, selfishness, and ignorance, for we reign as kings in life through the Lord Jesus Christ. We can walk in great power, wreaking havoc in Satan’s kingdom on the earth as we touch people with the great healing love and wholeness available in Jesus Christ. You are a super-conqueror; you are a new creation; you are a glorious son or daughter of God with all the dignity that comes with God’s calling through Jesus Christ.
Colossians further elaborates on this head crushing of the serpent by the Seed of the woman, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 2:14,15 (Message):
When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life,
you were incapable of responding to God. God
brought you alive-right along with Christ! Think
of it! All sins forgive, the slate wiped clean, that
old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s
cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants of the
universe of their sham authority at the Cross and
marched them naked through the streets.
Verse 15 (Phillips):
And having drawn the sting of all powers ranged
against us, he exposed them, shattered, empty
and defeated, in his final glorious triumphant act.
And the hostile princes and rulers He shook off from
Himself, and boldly displayed them as His conquests,
when by the cross he triumphed over them.
When he cut away the angelic Rulers and Powers
from us, exposing them to all the world and triumphing
over them in the cross.
At Calvary, Jesus Christ stripped and disarmed the power and authority of the devil’s kingdom for every born again believer. No devil spirit in the devil’s kingdom, no matter what its rank, can defeat you when you stand in the strength of the Lord’s redemptive work for you at the cross. The picture Paul is painting is of a triumphant general who has routed the enemy and leads the captive foes and spoils of his victory behind his chariot in a grand public procession through the city.
In the Roman world, this was the highest honor that could be bestowed upon a victorious Roman general. It was called “the triumph.” There must have been at least 5,000 enemy soldiers killed, and there must have been a gain of Roman territory in the conquest. It was an awesome display of the power, strength, and might of theRoman Empire. It was a spectacle that few would forget its images, as the triumph declared to the world that the enemy had been overwhelmed and crushed, now to be publicly humiliated through the streets of the city.
How much greater is the triumph of Christ as the captain of our salvation? What a triumph on the cross! What a victory against the forces of darkness! What a crushing blow to Satan’s kingdom! What a public display of victory to all those who have eyes to see and ears to hear! You become identified and in vital union with this triumph on the cross and all its far-reaching glorious effects when you become a new creation in Christ at the new birth. You are marching right beside Jesus Christ in this magnificent victory march with every wretched captive in chains under your feet. With great freedom, the power of the old sin nature has been stripped off and crippled, and the power of Christ in you flows and energizes every cell of your human body. You are a super conqueror who always triumphs in Christ. Jesus Christ cut away Satan’s firm grip on us and smashed the kingdom of darkness’s authority, control, and rule over our lives. No longer must we be a slave to sin or the bondage of this world. Jesus Christ victoriously led captivity captive for every Christian, according to the book of Ephesians, as he crushed and defeated every form of mental, physical, or spiritual bondage. What a triumph on the cross! What a victory in Christ!
The fatal wound to the head of the serpent was delivered at Calvaryand the empty tomb. The death sentence to both the devil and all his works was shouted out to the human race with three words at Calvaryand three words at the empty tomb. Jesus Christ cried out, “It is finished” at Calvary, and the angel proclaimed, “He is risen” at the empty tomb.
Luke 4:18 (Weymouth):
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because
He has anointed me to proclaim Good News
to the poor; He sent me to announce release
to the prisoners of war and recovery of sight
to the blind; to send away free those whose
tyranny has crushed.
We no longer have to be prisoners of war in the spiritual battle that rages with the devil. Jesus Christ opened the prison door of every tyranny of mind, body, heart, and soul and set us free. He crushed every tyrannical work of the devil that had previously broke our heart and spirit. He delivers all those who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity. Jesus Christ unloosed all the obstructions and cleared the pathway to the heart of God. He melted the devil’s work of separation and deception, and widely opened the door of access to our loving Father. Jesus Christ made it available that we might know Him and have full communion and intimacy with Him to such a degree that it overwhelms the heart. The human race feels restless, empty, unfulfilled, useless, valueless, and incomplete without a deep, vibrant, and living relationship with their Creator God Almighty. To know his love, to know his goodness, to know his justice, to know his righteousness, to know his mercy, to know his truth, and to know his faithfulness is the ultimate rush and thrill in life. How exciting to have God as your closest friend, your trusted advisor, your loving parent, and your strong protector.
Satan had been the master of the human race from the Fall to the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, but in the resurrected and ascended Christ, a new day dawned for the world. The power of the great enemy, the crafty serpent, and deceitful slanderer has been permanently broken, crushed, and defeated in our wonderful Lord Jesus. We are a new people, a called out mighty seed, a glorious new creation clothed in righteousness, and holiness. We have a new Lord, who has ushered us into a new age of spiritual, mental, and physical freedom and the crushing of every yoke of bondage that has held us in its grasp. We have a new destiny, as sin and death are no longer our emperors and rulers to whom we must bow and serve.
David Needham, in Birthright, Christian, Do You Know Who You Are?, states:
By physical conception my parents gave me “flesh” birth.
It involved much more than me “getting something.” I
became a real, full-fledged, “flesh” person…Similarly
by the new birth, I became a brand-new kind of person…
The divine activity re-makes a man. He is born all over
again by the very Spirit of God…Perhaps this “new
personhood” idea seems far away from the daily activity
of your life. That still doesn’t change the basic fact. If
you have received the Savior, you simply are not the same
person you were before. You may weigh the same, look
the same, feel the same but you are not the same…God
has not only justified you and reconciled you, he has also
birthed you…children of God….Could this really be?
“Children,” not by adoption, but by birth. Yes, emphatically
it is true…Even after it was known the Savior had risen,
seven weeks passed before anyone grasped the pivotal
importance of his death and resurrection. Finally on the
Day of Pentecost, the fire fell; the Spirit came. From
deep within “rivers of living water” flowed…The risen
Christ was dispensing LIFE. By the new birth, realized
in its fullness on the Day of Pentecost, life was theirs as
they never experienced it…Life was now “resurrection life”
The persons they use to be, persons who only knew life in
the flesh, had been crucified with Christ. They were “risen
with Christ,“alive to God,” as they had never been alive…
We are now by birth, by the Spirit, “the children of God,”
pulsating with the risen life of Jesus. Someday, perhaps
soon, it will reach its apex when at last our “physical …bodies”
will be transformed into “spiritual bodies”-at the “redemption
of our bodies.”…The new aeon [age] which has dawned
with Christ, brings a new creation, the creation of
a new man…the union with Christ which brings
justification also brings new life…The believer
enters not just into a private relationship with Jesus,
but a new humanity in which he becomes a new
kind of man…We are both corporately
and individually-part of something which is the
capstone of everything God has or ever will do.
We are the blessed progeny, the new humanity, the new species, the seed of Christ, and children of the living God. We have the gift of holy spirit born within and the resurrection life of Jesus Christ pulsating and energizing every ounce of our being. We are infused with spiritual power from on high and the very divine nature of God. This is what the human heart has been craving for since the fall of Adam: a new creation, authored by God Almighty, that fundamentally changes who we are, and who we will be in the future. We have passed from death unto life, from sin unto righteousness, from condemnation to justification, from separation to reconciliation, and from enemies to beloved children. God’s original plan was to have many sons and daughters living inParadise forever. The first Adam was supposed to be the father of such a perfect race, but he failed and sentenced the human race to sin and death when he disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. God’s dream, God’s intense desire, God’s ultimate plan after the Fall was to restore His original purpose of having birthed children live with Him forever on a perfect, beautiful, and amazing earth. The entire Bible points to Jesus Christ as being the agent, the mediator, the Savior, and the sacrifice that would bring about this restoration. He became the Head and Firstborn of all the redeemed born again believers whom he can rightfully call his brothers and sisters. He is not ashamed to do so, because he knows that they are birthed new creations in Him and sons and daughters of His heavenly Father.
Oh the awesome glory and magnificence of the cross of Christ!