The Word For Today

The transforming truth about Calvary 4

'Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he... gave up his spirit.' John 19:30 NIV

Calvary was victorious! The cross may look like the triumph of evil over goodness, the powerful over the powerless, but only to those who don't understand Christ's mission. Never was courage greater or strength stronger. When he cried, 'It is finished' (some translations read 'It is completed'), he didn't mean, 'I'm finished, my cause is defeated.'

Far from being crushed at Calvary, Jesus triumphed in three ways: (1) He conquered his own human desire to avoid unspeakable suffering: 'He...bowed with his face to the ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine"' (Matthew 26:39 NLT). (2) He conquered the demonic powers of darkness. 'In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross' (Colossians 2:15 NLT). (3) He conquered the law's stubborn demands against sinners. 'Christ...brought the Law to an end, so that everyone who believes is put right with God' (Romans 10:4 GNT).

At Calvary love triumphed over law, forever freeing us who could never live up to the Law. 'It is finished' was the cry of a victor instead of a victim! It didn't look that way to the crowd or to his devastated disciples. But it did three days later when the empty tomb proved Jesus had won the victory over death. It all comes down to this: 'If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved' (Romans 10:9 GNT).

Soulfood: Gen 22:1-18 Luke 23:26-49 Ps 22 Isa 53,


The transforming truth about Calvary 3

'Without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.' Hebrews 9:22 NAS

Third, Calvary was vital! Exactly how vital? As vital as life or death, hope or despair, Heaven or hell. It's our only means of salvation! 'There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under Heaven by which we must be saved' (Acts 4:12 NLT).

Without Christ's death, our sins would have separated us from God forever. But for his death we'd be subject to the full penalty of God's law, pronounced guilty for every sin we've ever committed and as condemned sinners, lost forever. Paul writes, 'Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God' (Romans 3:19 NLT). No exceptions - 'the entire world', including you, stands guilty in God's sight. But because Jesus fulfilled every requirement of God's law on our behalf, we have been forgiven and declared righteous. That's vital information.

And you only have two options when it comes to Jesus: accept or reject him! He said, 'Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned' (Mark 16:16 NLT). Jesus' sacrifice resolved the sin question; now it's up to you to resolve the Son question: 'What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ' (Matthew 27:22 NKJV)? The answer is simple: put your trust in him and be saved.

Soulfood: Jam 3-5 Luke 23:13-25 Ps 7:10-17 Pro 10:17-18,


The transforming truth about Calvary 2

'He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross.' 1 Peter 2:24 NLT

Second, Calvary was vicarious, which means 'an act undertaken by someone in another's place'. Seen through the lens of sentiment or superstition, the cross may affect your emotions but it can't save your soul. But seen as substitution, the cross can save any soul!

The apostle Peter writes, 'He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right' (1 Peter 2:24 NLT). Had Jesus reneged at Calvary, God would have been forced to sentence us to death for our sins. Instead, as our substitute, Jesus suffered our justly-deserved punishment, freeing us and giving us eternal life. Substitution was historically God's idea to deliver his people from the penalty of their sin. When Adam and Eve sinned, God substituted an animal to cover their iniquity. He accepted Abel's sacrifice of the 'firstborn of his flock' (Genesis 4:4 NKJV), and Abraham's ram caught in the thicket in exchange for Isaac's life (see Genesis 22:13). But without question God's greatest soul-saving theme - substitution - was once-for-all-time demonstrated when Jesus offered himself at Calvary. Because of Christ's atoning death, God expunged our record and pronounced us innocent in his sight! God 'made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him' (2 Corinthians 5:21 NAS). On the cross Jesus became what we were - sin - so we could become what he was - righteousness! Everything Jesus did from his virgin birth, sinless life, redeeming death, miraculous resurrection, glorious ascension, and priestly ministry in Heaven, he did as a substitute and saviour.

Soulfood: Jam 1-2 Luke 23:1-12 Ps 7:1-9 Pro 10:16,

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