Grace & Peace


Monday, July 18, 2016

Centrality of the Cross

The Centrality of the Cross
Our union with Him
The work of the cross

The New Covenant’s future arrival is revealed prophetically by the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 31, which is a covenant God swore by oath. Heb. 7:22 NIV, states, “Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.” The New Covenant, which is proclaimed in the book of Jeremiah as a future event, is stated as present day reality in the epistle to the Hebrews and once again reads, “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the LORD. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”  And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” (Heb. 10:16-18 NIV)

God is just in making this New Covenant because the wrath that was against mankind’s sin was placed on Jesus as our sacrifice. Jesus said in John’s gospel, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said signifying what death he should die.” (ref. John 12:32-33) But, it’s interesting to note though, that the word “men” in verse 32 is italicized. This indicates that it was added by the Bible translators. It should say, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw ‘all’ unto me.” This entire passage, John 12:31-34, is in the context of judgment. Jesus is saying that when he is placed on the cross, all the judgment for man’s sin will be placed on him. The entire wrath of God toward mankind’s sin will be (was) put on him on the cross.

He would act as a lightning rod, and that is exactly what happened. The wrath of God has been satisfied by the shed blood of Jesus; by his atonement made for the sins of the world. (see 1 John 2:2) This is why we, as New Covenant believers, should no longer have fear or torment because we have been perfected by love!

As stated in John’s epistle, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18 NIV) There is no longer punishment as the Old Covenant saints experienced. That’s the “good news.” We have peace with God. And as ambassadors, God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, “that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” “For he made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Cor. 5:19, 21 NKJ)
[Excerpt from Gates: Thanksgiving Papers-pgs 88-89]