The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses
John 19:30; Romans 1:3-4…The Cross and Resurrection…It is Finished and Jesus is declared to be the Song of God in Power
Jesus’ cross is not an archaeological item to be discovered and used as a relic.
Jesus’ resurrection is not a mythical story to conjure up a little more human effort to overcome our hardships.
Jesus’ cross and resurrection is the climactic event that the story of the gospel has so long anticipated.
Jesus has come, died and rose, and therefore kicked the curse of sin and death in the mouth, stomped a galactic sized mud hole in its backside and walked it dry. He is victorious!
The cross and resurrection both are as central to living the Christian life as it is to entering it.
Because the gospels all finish up with the resurrection, the subsequent writings of the apostles speak of the cross in terms of the totality of Jesus’ work on the cross and his rising. The cross without the resurrection is incomplete. So, we are combining them today and not treating them separately (not by any means comprehensive).
So, everything we observe today is the result of the cross and the resurrection.
What do we see?
It is finished: The promised one has come (the one not like the Levite of Judges 19-21; the one like David, only better), received the blow to the heal and dealt the crushing blow to the Serpent’s head, and he rose from the dead as the first to rise victorious over the curse, and therefore defeating sin and death.
John 19:28-30; Romans 1:1-4
“After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power (the resurrection is the exclamation point on the work of salvation) according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,…”
What does it mean? (going to look at multiple passages from the NT that deal with the cross and its implications)
The cross is a simple and powerful message. 1 Corinthians 1:17-23
“Of course the background of the passage is the contrast of Greek wisdom, which looked only for eloquence and style, not substance, and a power that was emotional, and for the moment, not lasting.”
The cross causes us to be controlled by Jesus’ love. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21…5:11-13 as context
Seeking to persuade others.
Not commending ourselves but Jesus.
Not boasting in outward appearances.
Being ok with being slandered in falsehood.
Not seeking the approval of people.
Telling of Jesus’ love through our common ministry of reconciling all things back to God.
The cross kills hostility between peoples and creates the “One New Man”. Ephesians 2:11-16
The cross makes peace so that we can have a ministry of reconciliation Colossians. 1:20
The cross killed the hostility of the curse making peace possible. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” – Matthew 5:9
The cross pays our debt thereby disarming the spiritual powers that had power over us. Colossians 2:14
The cross unites us to Jesus thereby fulfilling the law’s demands and giving us Jesus’ life. Galatians 2:20
Paul’s critics have charged that Justification by faith alone allows for liberty to sin and there be no consequences. It weakens a person’s sense of moral and ethical responsibility. This doctrine may encourage people to actually break the law, his critics would say.
Paul’s response is verse 19-20
“This amazing change, which comes over somebody who is justified in Christ, Paul now unfolds. He describes it in terms of a death and a resurrection. Twice in verses 19 and 20 he speaks of this dying and this rising to life again. Both take place through union with Christ. It is Christ’s death and resurrection in which we share. Verse 19: For I through the law died to the law (the law’s demand of death was satisfied in the death of Christ), that I might live to God. Verse 20: I have been crucified with Christ (that is, being united to Christ in His sin-bearing death, my sinful past has been blotted out); it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The cross removes the curse of the fall from us, ensures the blessing of faith goes to the nations and we get the Holy Spirit. Galatians 3:13 (Deuteronomy 21:23)
The cross offends the deadly self-righteousness of works based salvation Galatians. 5:11
Paul’s critics have argued that one must be circumcised in addition to faith in Jesus to be saved.
Jesus plus anything ruins everything.
This does not mean that works play no part. In fact, James will affirm that works are the outworking of faith. But that’s not what Paul’s opponents were teaching. They were teaching that works along with faith is what saved.
The cross makes our uniting with Christ a reality and works itself out in moral and ethical holiness as sin and its desires are continually being crucified daily. Galatians 5:24
The cross is the ground for any bragging of any value. Galatians 6:14
All bragging apart from bragging in the cross will not be worth bragging about with the passing of time.
How do we obey? What is a cross-centric life?
- It’s a “John the Baptist” kind of life. John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
- It’s a simple yet profound life informed by a simple yet profound message.
The message of the cross is the center, power and informant of all things for us.
The cross brings about my death to sin, my resurrection to new life and my pursuit of Jesus rule over me in all things.
The gospel is not the problem. The problem is us who refuse to apply it.
- We can and should make effort to cross cultures with the good news.
- We all have a God given ministry to execute under the authority of Jesus’ church…a ministry of reconciliation.
- We have been united with Christ, therefore, our lives are to look increasingly like Jesus and increasingly committed to his kingdom.
- We worship Jesus.