Friday, April 10, 2009

An Inconvenient Truth for us All

What is the true meaning behind the death of Christ upon the Cross?

First we must understand the truth of the human condition before we can understand the need for the death of Christ. Why would God sacrifice his innocent Son for the sins of the human race?

We can all look at the world around us today, at the past history of mankind, and see that something is terribly wrong. Also, on an individual basis we see sin in our daily life. Sins of compromising, sins of neglect, sins of betrayal, and on and on. We find ourselves excusing these in ourselves, but rarely in others! In this way we do not acknowledge our part in the evils of the world. Our sins are minimized and considered 'human' and we do not see our own complicity in the world's evil.

Christ's death on the Cross forces us to confront the ugly reality of our individual sins. If my sins are so small and insignificant, why did the very Son of God have need to die upon the cross to provide forgiveness for ME??? This is the real 'Inconvenient Truth' of this world.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23

By comprehending the Cross, we are faced with the knowledge that we are judged by a higher standard than ourselves or even of others. The Scripture tells us we are measured by our Creator. God, being just, can not excuse our sin. Sin requires a payment and that payment was paid on the Cross by the Son of God. He is our atonement. The death of Christ on the Cross shows us the severity and seriousness of our personal sin.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

If we refuse to see our sins for what they are, that God requires this atonement of us, we are saying that we can personally make things right in our own way. We need to remember the need of redemption. Today many people have forgotten that redemption is about sin and guilt. It is not about feeling good about ourselves.

The death of Christ on the Cross shows us that we are not in any way able to provide our own redemption. Christ as the Lamb of God was the only one capable of paying this sin debt as he was the only one sinless. He had to take our place. THE INNOCENT DIED FOR THE GUILTY. He alone could redeem humankind from our sin debt.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name (Jesus) under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) And he (Jesus) is the propitiation (payment) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1John 2:2)

Thus, the Cross is God's reminder to us of our sin condition. We are offended by it in today's culture, but it was just as offensive when it happened! 2000 years ago, they knew that crucifixion was a terrible way to die, made even more so by the death of an innocent man.

The truth... our sin was judged, we could not make it right ourselves, God provided the substitute for our atonement, His only begotten Son! Because he loved us.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

And that is the inconvenient truth of the matter!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Eph 2:8)

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (Act 16:31)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)


Tammy said...

Excellent post, Rita! I never tire of hearing this.

Kathy said...

Thanks for the beautiful sermon Rita. THANK YOU Jesus! Have a lovely weekend!

Lady Glamis said...

Lovely post for this weekend. Thank you so much. Have a great Easter.

The Localmalcontent said...

have I told you that I love you and Clint, JMom? Well, I do.
Thanks for this very humbling, very simple explanation of our Father's love for each of us sinners.

It's just the simplest, lovliest truth, never inconvenient to those of us who know God, and His Love.

A very happy Easter, to you, Clint and your extended family, from us~!

Findalis said...

Have a blessed Easter Rita.

Enjoy the day, the children, and the chocolate.

Pilot-Pooja said...

I surely believe i what you say dear jugle Mom!

Best Regards

Z said...

Wonderful, Rita..thanks!
Tonight at Good Friday service, Pastor closed his homily with how "God loves us SO much he died for us because he couldn't stand the idea of being parted from us"..
That knocked me's so simple, but sometimes it helps me to hear it just that simple.
Your post did the same thing xx Happy Easter, honey!

Most Rev. Gregori said...

How very true. We are often quick to see the "speck in our neighbor's eye while ignoring the log in our own." Some of us are quick to ask forgiveness for our faults and misdeeds, yet withhold forgiveness for others.

If we truly wish to follow Christ Jesus, then should we not also be willing to forgive those who hurt us? But before we can be forgiven by God, we must ASK for that forgiveness, it is a free gift but we must ask for it. The same holds true if we want forgiveness from those we have hurt. We must ask for it.

So, if I have hurt or offended any of my blogs readers, through my words, I humbly ask for your forgiveness and blessings for this Pascha season.

I leave each of you with this little Jesus Prayer (also called the Prayer of the Heart) which those of us in the Orthodox Church pray daily:

"Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
ONLY begotten Son of God the
Father and Creator, have mercy
on the SINNER."

God bless you and yours.

MK said...

A timely reminder. Thank you.