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The Cross of Jesus Christ
Where the Wrath of God and the
Love of God . . . Meet Head On!
In the cross of Jesus, we see BOTH the wrath of God and the love of God, in their glorious fullness. We see the awesome display of God’s holy wrath and the gracious display of God’s mercy. When we really do consider the cross, we see our loving Jesus serving the horrible sentence for sinners (us)!
The cross of Jesus is truly all about God being a Holy God! HOW could the cross, that was a place of torment, suffering and blood, be about God's Holiness? This question is answered with another question! HOW can a Holy God be reconciled to unholy people? And the answer to that is yet another question! HOW can the relationship between a Holy God and an unholy people be restored? The cross of Jesus is the answer!
At the cross we see just how much God values His Holiness. God will NEVER violate His Holiness even to save the ones He loves. There at the cross we see wrath and mercy meet face to face! We see BOTH of them in their glorious fullness . . . we see the display of God’s wrath AND the display of God’s mercy.
When we really consider the cross, we see Jesus serving the fair sentence of a sinner. We see Jesus experience physical death . . . His Heart stops beating and His Body starts to decay. He is punished by facing the fury of the wrath of God. He is punished consciously for sin done in conscious rebellion against God . . . NOT His sin . . . OUR sin! He had NO sin! It was OUR sin that He took to the cross, it was OUR penalty that He paid for, NOT His! He faced an eternal measure of wrath for sins against an Eternal Being, GOD! There on the cross, He faced the justice and the torment of the literal HELL . . . for those of us who believe in what He did on the cross!
So, what about the mercy of the cross? So far, all we see is Jesus experiencing God’s wrath and none of God’s love and mercy.
Christ Jesus has NEVER sinned, so why would a sinless man be suffering God’s wrath? Because he walked into that courtroom, he stood between the judge and the guilty person, and said, “I will serve his sentence.” He took the sins of the world (John 1:29) upon Himself. He took upon Himself sin to such an extent that HE became sin. He became vile and detestable in God’s Eyes . . . the most vile and detestable thing that could ever exist . . . and God poured out the full measure of His wrath upon Him. God the Father poured out His wrath upon Jesus until that His wrath was absorbed and exhausted, until every bit of justice was satisfied.
Christ Jesus served the complete sentence of just wrath that I (and you) deserved. This is the mercy of the cross, the sinless one serving the sentence of the sinner. Now we see that God has a purpose in his mercy; there is a purpose in His patience. The following says it so well: 2 Peter 3:9-10 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (KJV) . . . God does not wish that any should perish, so He gives time to repent.
Now we see why God has been patient in mercy. God has been patient so that Christ’s work could be accomplished and so we could reach out by faith and become receivers of that work and to receive full forgiveness and full deliverance.
Mercy is expressed in patience . . . in wrath delayed, but mercy may also be expressed in grace, in wrath substituted, wrath transferred to someone else, as in the cross of Jesus. Shouldn’t our hearts and will be obsessed on our Saviour, Jesus Christ?
Revelation 15:3-4 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. (KJV)
Here we have a glimpse of the great day to come, where a great throng sings before the Lord, rejoicing in the loving God who is merciful and the God who is just.
ALL God’s deeds are great and amazing. God is just and true and God’s righteous acts conclude in the cross where Jesus satisfies the demands of God’s Holy justice. This is the wonder of the cross of Jesus . . . that there we see the fullest measure of wrath and the fullest measure of mercy at the same time in the same place and all because of the same Saviour. At the cross, we see wrath and mercy meet.
In the stories of the Old Testament we see time after time, God’s patient mercy and occasional displays of His just wrath. But at the cross we each in its fullness. We see Heaven and Hell . . . we see the Heaven of His mercy and the Hell of His wrath, we see the Heaven of righteousness, the Hell of unrighteousness, the Heaven of Christ’s gracious substitution, the Hell of facing justice without an Advocate, without a Substitute.
Dear one, IF there is NO Hell as some false teachers say, then there is NO need for a cross. The cross shows us the depth of our sin and the height of God’s Holiness, the purity of God’s wrath and the greatness of God’s mercy. The cross of Jesus assures us that HELL does exist. The cross of Jesus demands that we look to the One hanging there and put all our faith, all our hope, all our love and all our trust in Him.
1 Corinthians 1:17-24 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (KJV)
For the preaching of the cross . . . the preaching of the cross is the doctrine concerning the cross and is the doctrine that proclaims salvation to a lost world through the crucifixion of Christ. It is to them that perish foolishness . . . there are only two classes of people anywhere the Gospel is preached: the unbelievers and gainsayers who are perishing; and the obedient and willing believers. A gainsayer is one who opposes, denies, disputes or contradicts the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To unbelievers, the preaching of salvation through the merit of a crucified Saviour is foolishness, stupidity.
If we really consider the Cross of Christ, we can SEE the very heart of the living God and the core of the Christian faith. The Cross is the most important doctrine in the Bible. WHY?
*****Because ALL have sinned and rebelled against God.
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (KJV)
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (KJV)
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (KJV)
*****Because the wages of sin is death.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
*****Because one day, we will give an account of ourselves to God.
Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (KJV)
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (KJV)
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (KJV)
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (KJV)
1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. (KJV)
Jude 1:14-15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (KJV)
Salvation comes only through the Cross. Without it, we are lost. If we want to see how seriously God takes sin, we need only to look at the Cross of Christ. We CANNOT understand the measures of God's love unless we are aware of God's wrath.
*****Unbelievers will not see eternal life in Heaven.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (KJV)
*****God's wrath is God's intense hatred against rejection of His Son.
John 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (KJV)
1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (KJV)
*****Because of Jesus, God justifies us by our faith in Him.
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (KJV)
Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (KJV)
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (KJV)
*****The Cross is foolishness to some, but is life to all those who trust in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (KJV)
Facts about the LORD JESUS!
WHO is the Real JESUS?
74 Names and Titles of our Holy God
Appearances of Jesus in Old Testament
Jesus Called the Son of Man
Jesus' Cross, Where God's Love and Wrath Meet
Jesus' Eight Hopes
Jesus, His Humanity
Jesus is Holy, Pure and True
Jesus is the Great "I AM"
Jesus' "I AM'S" Questioned
Jesus Is Love
Jesus' Major Names
Jesus' Names in Old Testament
Jesus' OT Prophecies Fulfilled
Jesus, Our Encouragement
Jesus Is Perfect
Jesus' Titles and Functions
Jesus, Walking With Jesus