The Jesus story! A manger and beyond… His redemptive death…

The empty mangerThe Cross

A defining event – most people have one in their lifetime – an event that above all others people would associate with their life. That defining event may be accurately self-identified or others identified. It’s telling when both self-identification and the identification of such an event by others intersect and coalesce!

That happened in the life and mission of Jesus! If I were to show you a cross, what would immediately come to your mind? My hunch? (No more than that)… my prediction? You’d say “Jesus Christ!” In a very real way it was and is the “defining event” of His life. There were other very, very significant events to be sure… many of them absolutely critical to our salvation (like the resurrection, for example!) but it is the cross that occupied his mind and focuses our attention and association as well.

The defining event of Jesus life… His redemptive death on the cross!

He’s the one who, when speaking of His death, said, “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, but for this purpose I have come to this hour! Father glorify your name!” (John 12:27)

His redemptive death on the cross is the focus of our communion observance… Apostle Paul emphasized: “As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26)

Two Greek prepositions dominate the Bible’s description of the significance of the redemptive death of Jesus… “anti” and “huper.”

Where “Anti” is used it focuses most upon the fact that he died “in our place.” In a real way he died so we could live. His death was “substitutionary” – we deserved to die for our sins, but He took our place, He was the “Passover lamb” who died that we might live!

Where the Greek preposition “huper” is used it emphasizes especially that Christ’s death was “on our behalf” – for our benefit! Christ died to provide forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation and eternal life! Without His sacrifice we’d be lost and condemned! But His redemptive sacrifice opened up a doorway into incredible, eternal blessing and benefit!

Oh it’s time for worship! For thanksgiving! For commitment! Today I’m remembering and reflecting on the “defining event” of my Savior and yours – the cross of Jesus Christ!

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