A. THE NEW TESTAMENT GIVES THREE ANSWERS:
1. Christ’s death revealed the true nature of God and his character of love. The Cross was God’s supreme act of love for the world and revealed his truest character: Love. Through the Cross, God defines true love: “recognizing another’s need and freely reaching out to help.” The Cross reveals that God does not bring troubles or suffering, but like a loving parent, comes to our rescue and helps us. Just as God was lovingly united with his Son on the Cross, God is now lovingly united with us in all the troubles of our lives.
2. Christ’s death conquered Satan and gives the baptized victory over evil. The Cross rendered Satan “ineffective,” like a disease-ridden fruit tree, a mortally wounded animal, or a disarmed warrior. And even though Satan has been defeated, he has not yet conceded defeat. For this reason, the Cross gives Christians power over Satan. Through Christ’s victory over Satan, Christians are given POWER OVER...our sinful nature, our dying, Satan and his demons, and the Law’s condemnations.
3. Christ’s death offered Salvation for sinners as a free gift. This is the primary and central work of the Cross of Christ.It is the Old Testament sacrificial system which foreshadows and explains how Jesus died for our sins as an “exchange.” When Jesus died on the Cross, the sinful nature of all people, of all times, was transferred or “exchanged” to Jesus as the “pure and undefiled sacrificial Lamb of God.” Only Jesus’ death, as the Son of God, was a sacrifice large enough to carry the sin of the whole world. When Christ died on the Cross, he sacrificially died “on behalf” of our sinful nature. Jesus took upon himself our sinful infected nature and bore the punishment of death for it. Jesus died “on our behalf”...Jesus died “in our place”...Jesus paid the price “for our punishment” ...Jesus “returned us to God”...Jesus “exchanged his life for ours.”
+The primary purpose that God sent his “Son” into the world as a man was to die a sacrificial death on the Cross to save us from our sinful nature.
+Jesus’ death on the Cross is a principle focus of both his personal mission and public life.
+St. Paul defines the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ, as “the message of the Cross” and preaches “only Christ crucified.”
+Baptism is “initiation into Christ’s death.” Holy Communion proclaims “the Lord’s death.”
+The sign of Christianity throughout the ages has been the Cross.
+Martin Luther said, “Only he who correctly understands the work of the Cross can begin to under stand Jesus Christ or the Bible.”
+The Cross of Christ is the decisive turning point and the most important event which will ever occur in the history of the world, history of the Church, and in our own personal lives.
+Every day we are called to “trace the Cross of Christ upon us” as we renew our baptism.