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THE CENTRAL PLACE OF THE CROSS IN THE PURPOSES OF GOD.
Some 20 centuries ago, three men were executed by crucifixion just outside the walls of the great city of Jerusalem. Two were terrorists who had been found guilty and were suffering the just punishment for their crimes. But the One on the middle cross was fundamentally different. Not only had He committed no crime deserving the death penalty, but He had committed no sin ever in His brief life.
One name for Him is Immanuel, meaning GOD WITH US. He had been born to a virgin some 33 years earlier with the promise that He would save people from the penalty of their sins. He lived in obscurity for 30 years and then started to teach, preach and perform many notable miracles, all of which clearly attested His divinity. Quite early on in His public ministry, the Jewish religious authorities saw Him as a threat and connived how they might get rid of Him.
The screw gradually tightened and the religious leaders plotted in such a way that Immanuel ended up dying on a cross. They thought that had achieved their ends that day. The One claiming to be the MESSIAH had met a sad, but inevitable end, in their view. When He breathed His last breath, they rubbed their hands with confident relish, completely unaware that within a few days they would find Jerusalem buzzing with the news that He had risen for the dead.
THEY HAD ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA THAT THE DEATH OF IMMANUEL UPON THE CROSS WAS ACTUALLY THE VERY CENTRE OF GOD’S PURPOSES FOR MANKIND. IMAGINE ALL THE WORLD EVENTS FROM CREATION TO THE ETERNAL REIGN OF OUR SAVIOUR IN THE DIAGRAM ABOVE – KINGDOMS RISING AND FALLING, WARS BEING FOUGHT AND WON AND THE HISTORY OF MAN BEING PLAYED OUT – IN THE CENTRE, WAY ABOVE EVERY OTHER EVENT, STANDS THE CROSS, THE MEANS BY WHICH FALLEN MANKIND CAN BE RECONCILED TO GOD.
So let us look at the teaching of God’s Word on this subject and see the undisputed position of the cross at the very centre of God’s plan of salvation. We, of course, are the beneficiaries of all the blessings that flow from the cross if we know the Lord Jesus as our Saviour!