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)