Meaning of the Cross

Jesus interprets his own death.  He does this through is 3 cries on the cross.

The cross transforms everything.  The cross addresses EVERY major human problem.

Three major problems that humans face.

  1. First Cry – addresses the modern dilemma – The great problem of injustice and suffering
  2. Second Cry – human dilemma – we (individual) wants to do right but can’t
  3. Third Cry – Personal dilemma

First Cry – addresses the modern dilemma

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Deepest revelation of the passion of Jesus is this cry.   Originally Passion meant suffering.   Today (modern) passion means romance, love, calvin klein perfume.   Biblical passion means deep love always means deep suffering.  This statement shows us that Jesus experienced infinite suffering out of infinite love.   Here Jesus is saying “my soul is being plunged into absolute darkness”.

Neither hell nor heaven are in time.  They are spiritual conditions being in the presence of God or being trust away from God.   There is no such thing as being 3 hours in heave or hell.   Here Jesus is experiencing the sence of being eternally and utterly lost.  He was experiencing all the infinite sufferings of everyone who was cast out and away from God.

Father, God I want you, I love you and I obey you.

But WHY was he being forsaken?  This is a quote of Psalm 22.

  1. I am suffering infinitely.
  2. Thou God is damning me I am sticking to the plan. Thou God is damning me I am holding onto his word/knowledge.   Thou God is condemning me and casting me out, I am holding on.  Psalm 22 is saying – There is something God is doing.  there is something God is accomplishing.

What is God’s plan.  What is Jesus doing?   God is doing US, humans.  We are the passion of Jesus Christ in the full sense of the biblical term.  Jesus is suffering for the love of us.

Jesus was literally and truly in hells heart for the love of all Humans, and specifically me.

The cross means PASSION in the full biblical sense of the word passion where Jesus was willing to take infinite suffering out of infinite love of us and obey the plan of God in order to redeem us.  How does this change the way I look at the world?

Modern culture believes that the traditional God of religion has died because of the enourmous suffering and injustice of our century.  The traditional God of religion says “do good, be good, be moral and I will give you a good life”.  This God died because this God obviously does not exist.  This can be obvious when looking at just 3 people Hitler, Stalin and Mao who were responsable for the suffering and death of 200 million people. It is just obvious that the traditional God does not exist because out of the 200 million people there were obviously millions of good people who were “do good, be good, be moral” and under this logic, deserved a good life.

2000 years ago Jesus took the suffering of all people seriously.  The gospel considered the death of God because of the injustice of the world.

The injustice of the world means that God must die but he comes and does it volontarily out of love for us to bring us back to him.  God chooses to do this to end evil without ending us (humans).  Jesus bears the evil of the world and dies under it.  Humans killed God. We did.  And God saves us inspite of this. (23 min)

The modern world must have a God.  The modern world cannot live life without God because then we have no basis to object to injustice because there is no injustice.

Second Cry – human dilemma   Matthew 27:50  And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.  John 19:30  When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

In Matthew – the temple (many levels of boundaries between people and God – restricted access) – NO ACCESS to God.

When Jesus dies and the veil is ripped TOP to bottom.  1) Jesus is cast out so we can be brought in. 2) Jesus is barred from heaven so we can be welcomed.    “IT IS FINISHED”… what is finished?

  • restricted access is finished
  • all the sacrifices are finished – this is the sacrifice to end all sacrifice
  • all the attonement is finished

Jesus is saying the opposite of what Budah says.  Buda “strive without ceasing” Jesus says “don’t you dare keep striving, I did all the striving for you”.  Two completely different approaches.

On one hand we want to do good.  Then we get crushed and burned out. (29 min).  The cross gets us through this dilemma.  Jesus quoted scripture to the end.  The secret of Jesus integrity is scripture on Jesus mind.  (Scripture is the wisdom and knowledge of God.)  When you are in pain and under incredible stress and duress, our deepest reflexes just kick in and we AUTO respond almost uncontrollably.  We react uncontrollably out of what is in our heart.  Imagine you were thrown into hell – what would be your auto reaction?  Jesus was thrown into hell… what was his auto reaction?  Quoted scripture.

What Jesus is saying is as an example on the cross someone trusting scripture and trusting God.  As a substitute he is saying “OBEY because it is already finished.” NOT saying “obey in order to finish it”..

IM 31:00

HINT – people who work to hard, cannot say no to anybody, over committed all the time, need to please everybody all the time.   WHY?   “You are being Good, you are always doing what the bible says”  WHY are you sinking, WHY do you keep falling down, WHY are you always feeling guilty?  It is because you are TRYING to finish. You are trying to finish what God has already finished.  You are trying to make yourself worthy.  You are trying to make yourself acceptable for him.

You are not just trying to obey him out of LOVE for God.

The cross gives us the perfect example.  Jesus is saying YES obey.  But obey because it is finished.  Obey because it is finished.  Obey in the joy and relaxation that it is finished.   This solves the human dilemma that we want to do what is right but we cannot always do right.

Jesus Christ has already done everything to be right in the eyes of God.

Do I want to obey because it is finished?   Or do we try to obey in order that we finish it? (This will certainly burn me out because it is impossible.  This will grind you into the ground.)

“If on the cross our sins are finished that means our sins are over.  But why is there still an accounting for sin.”

Third Cry – Personal dilemma –  Salvation is by grace alone.  Often outsiders get it (truely understand it) better than insiders.  Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[a] of God!”

The point here is how easy it is to NOT get it.  To go through life trying to EARN our salvation.   The personal dilemma is that we want to DO something to be perfect but we are ALREADY perfect in the eyes of God BECAUSE of what Jesus did on the cross.

How well do I know the bible.  How well am I using the bible.  This is the son of God and he is perfect.  Every single time he has a crisis or anyone comes after him he responds with scripture.  If Jesus felt he needed it and saturate his heart with scripture.    or

Timothy J. Keller

2-01 The Final Hour 1.mp3








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