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The Power of the Cross
Pastor Rod Block - March 31, 2018

Hebrews 7:27 Speaking about Jesus and contrasting Him with the priests of the Old Testament, Hebrews says: [He] does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Lev. 23:27 Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Many people today do not know what the word atonement means. Its meaning begins to appear when we divide the word up into its three syllables: at-one-ment. God and the sinner are brought into a relationship in which they are at one. A more common word today is reconciliation. Through the cross God and the sinner are reconciled to each other.

There is a vitally important difference between the word translated atonement in the Hebrew of the Old Testament and the word translated atonement in the Greek of the New Testament.

In Hebrew the word is kippur and means "covering." to cover, to expiate or condone, to placate or appease, to be merciful or pacify. The Day of Atonement was a day of covering. By the sacrifices offered on that day, the sins of the people were covered—but only for one year. The next year at the same time, their sins had to be covered once more. The sacrifices offered that day provided no permanent solution, therefore, to the problem of sin; they merely provided a temporary covering. On each successive Day of Atonement, that covering was extended for one more year.

Hebrews 10:3-4 speaks of the sacrifices of the Old Testament: "In those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year."

So, far from taking sin away, those sacrifices reminded the people of the problem of sin. "For it is not possible, that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins."

Hebrews 9:26, on the other hand, the writer speaks about what was accomplished by the death of Jesus, in direct contrast to the Old Testament sacrifices. In the second half of that verse, speaking of Jesus, the writer says: "But now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."

So when Jesus came and offered Himself as a sacrifice on the cross, He put away sin.

John 1:29 When John the Baptist introduced Jesus he said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"

Everything you will ever need, in time and eternity, whether spiritual or physical, financial or material, emotional or relational, has been provided by that one sacrifice.

At the cross an exchange took place, divinely ordained by God.
Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.
Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.
Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be made righteous with His righteousness.
Jesus died our death that we might share His life.
Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing.
Jesus endured our poverty that we might share His abundance.
Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory.
Jesus endured our rejection that we might enjoy His acceptance.
Our old man died in Jesus that the new man might live in us.

You will never be able to find any reason you deserved His exchange. It is the outworking of God's sovereign grace. It is the expression of His measureless love.

The key word here is grace. Grace is something you can never earn or deserve. There is no way to earn what God did for you through the death of Jesus on the cross. There is only one way to receive it—by believing it. The only way you can receive the provision of Jesus on the cross is by faith in Him.

Fix your eyes and your faith on Jesus Christ today.

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THE DWELLING PLACE - April 26, 2018