May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ – Gal 6:14
The death of Jesus Christ on the Cross reaches down through time and affects every Christian in so many ways. In a recent post, I described just a little of what Jesus accomplished for us at the Cross. But only today has it occurred to me why He had to die a criminal’s death.
When in Paul’s letters, he refers to the Cross, he’s not just talking about Jesus’s death. I think that Paul deliberately used the word ‘Cross’ rather than ‘death’, because he wanted to refer to the manner of that death, as well as the fact of the death. You see, for me one of the main things for the Cross is that everything that was bad about humanity was nailed there with Jesus. Simply referring to the ‘death’ isn’t sufficient; the sin/sickness/flesh etc. has to be seen to have been crucified in order to make it helpless and powerless. It all died a criminal’s public death, because it was all evil. It deserved it!
“…having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Col 2:14-15, emphasis mine)
This is the victory of the Cross. Public and permanent defeat for death, sickness, sin, every evil and every bad thing that humanity has ever been able to cook up. They all died a criminal’s death, in Jesus Christ, and were defeated.
Wow, this Gospel is good news!!