Our Redemption: His Cross, His Blood, His Life

April 19, 2014

Friends,
Though the cross was an appalling instrument of death, it was nevertheless the means of our redemption. Thus the symbols of the cross which we hang up or wear are remembrances of the extent to which God went in order to purchase our salvation from our sin and sin’s consequence. The cross, therefore, should make us weep with both contrition and joy. For through it, Christ paid our ransom, allowing God to satisfy His fury against the horrible crimes of sin, and to forgive all who, in faith, apply Christ’s blood to the doorposts of their hearts.

Because of the crime of sin against God –who is utterly holy, just, and good, and who is Love impersonated– there must be, for justice to prevail, a payment for crime. Evil must be punished; otherwise justice does not rule. For God to maintain sovereignty in His universe, justice must triumph over injustice.

It would be unjust for God to allow sinfulness to reign over goodness, for evil to defeat innocence, for cruelty to conquer love. Thus it would be unjust for God to ignore sinfulness and not require that those who commit it be penalized. It is because God is perfectly good and loving that He demands that goodness and love rule, and that sin, which is always tainted, at least to some degree or another with cruelty and perversion, and which always, if left unchecked, spirals down into more evil, be punished.

We know that God’s law requires that everything presented to Him be clean and undefiled. We also know that it is only by the shedding of blood that cleansing, plus the forgiveness of sins, can be granted to one who has sinned. (Heb. 9:22) The blood of Jesus Christ is the only blood and payment that took care of this necessity once and for all. No longer must humans present to God bloody sacrifices as they acknowledge their sinfulness and request forgiveness, for Christ, the Lamb, paid the price of sin once and for all. For “He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” (v. 12) Because He, unblemished by sin, offered Himself to God on our behalf, then all who apply His blood to their consciences and hearts, are cleansed of those acts that lead to death. (v. 14 & 10:22) Cleansed does mean cleansed, not just forgiven. Thus, being cleansed and freed from sin (Rom. 6:18), we become forgiven, joyful slaves of God and righteousness (v. 18,22,23), the resulting outcome being holiness and eternal life. (v. 22)

So, because of Christ’s atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), we are not to sin. (v. 1) But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate (Jesus) who speaks to the Father in our defense. (same verse) Our part is to acknowledge that we’ve sinned, confess it, renounce it with finality, and travel the opposite direction away from it. (Luke 13:3 // John 8:11,34-36) If we do this, God will forgive us and cleanse us once again of all impurities. (Titus 2:14 // 1 John 1:9) Because God has no darkness (sin or evil) in Him (1 John 1:5,6), then to abide in Him, we must remain in the Light –meaning, to remain clear of all sin / disobedience / evil. (v. 6 & 2:3,4) Walking this way (the way of a clean conscience and clean conduct) is the way Christ’s blood purifies us of every sin. (1:7) As Eph. 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” IN Him –where no darkness abides.

We were reconciled to God and justified before Him through the death and blood of Christ. (Rom. 5:9,10) And through His life –if we abide there by eating (being filled with) the Living Bread which has been given for the life of the world (John 6:33,48-63)– we are rescued from the wrath to come. (Rom. 5:9,10 // 1 Thes. 1:9,10 // 1 Peter 1:9)

Let us, therefore, continually praise God for the cross of Christ, His blood shed for us as, in death, He paid our sins’ wage and through which we also may die to sin (Rom. 6:1-10), and for His life by (in / through) which we may truly live, now and for eternity. (v. 5,11,23)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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