THE BASIC CROSS [367]

One man died for all men. This is the “sacrifice” that conveys to all that the terror reign of death is over. Jesus came to take death away. Yet we still see death at work, because we all die.

This then comes down to a matter of trust – Do we, can we, are we prepared to trust this man? Are we prepared to associate this man with God – To accept his authority? Can we accept the “story” that surrounds this man’s life and circumstance?

If we DO believe that he removed death from us, does this in itself restore us to life? Even as we continue to see the power of death all around us?

The answer is Yes – If you remove the threat of death, then you provide an environment where life can enter and flourish. Rather than this becoming a “free for all” which enables opportunity for bad behaviour, the very circumstances of his death make it plain that the removal of your death is conditional on him having removed it for you.

The fact that he actually died, provides the certainty of the death itself having occurred. The nature of what this is claimed to have achieved, is bound up and seen in the circumstance of the association of sin with death. To take away sin is to take away death. To take away death is to take away sin.

When the authority behind this is seen to be love in action, and that this love, by this cross, has effectively removed sin and death from our account, then the impetus to grasp this release from death is huge.

The key is to believe that this is true, that death has been dealt with, removed. And only disbelieving this, disbelieving in the nature of love and its preparedness to have provided this situation for you, on your behalf, as a ‘fait accompli’ based on the reality of his love for you – Will cause you to remain within the grip of death, your death.

So his death effectiveness for you depends on the recognition of your own death-worthiness, and your submission to the provision of his death as being sufficient to counter your own, seeing as how it represents and really is, His love suffering the consequences of your sin.

The question now appears, does this suffering for our death, constitute the removal of our death? God says it does. He says that because He has ultimate authority in all things, then He has the right to declare that the suffering of His love, of his righteousness, and the suffering through the very violation of who he is, provides the balancing out, the equalisation of, our inadequacy and poor performance. Our ‘sin’, Our death.

The death of the Son of God is sufficient ‘payment’, is ‘sacrifice’ for our death. This remains true no matter what. But release from death is our responsibility, it is ‘on our head’ to be so released, by BELIEVING it to be true, to be a reality that we want for ourselves, beyond all else, even the approval of family and friends, or ultimately, even beyond our own lives.

In this sense we swap our life (of death) for his death (of life). That our death becomes his, and his life becomes ours.

He has bought us “with his blood”.

 

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