Christianity 201

September 4, 2011

4 Things Christ Accomplished on the Cross

From Philadelphia pastor Brian Jones:

Theologians use various words to describe what Jesus’ death on the cross accomplished.  Each of these words illuminates a unique aspect of what happened on the cross at Calvary…

Redemption

The term conveys the idea of being “bought back.” If a thief steals an expensive watch, sells it to a pawn shop, and then the original goes and pays a large sum of money to buy it back — that’s an example of redemption. Jesus’ death served as God’s payment to “buy us back from sin, darkness, the devil, and hell.

13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins. Col 1:(13 added) – 14

Reconciliation

The term conveys the idea of two people whose relationship was damaged, and they they became enemies before later coming back together.  Jesus’ death restores humanity’s broken relationship with God.

  So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. -Romans 5: 11

Substitute Atonement

The term conveys the idea of someone stepping up to take upon him or herself the punishment due another person. Jesus, in His death, stepped up to take the punishment we deserved because of our sins.

 But he was pierced for our rebellion,
crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed. -Isaiah 53:5

…Like looking at a diamond from various angles, the death of Jesus has multiple meanings and many layers, but there is one aspect of Jesus’ death that is more central than all others combined, and that’s the idea of propitiation. It’s what theologian J. I. Packer calls “the heart of the gospel.”

Propitiation

…”an offering that turns away wrath.”* Jesus’ death on the cross served as a sacrificial offering which appeased God’s wrath and opened up the possibility for people to spend eternity with Him in heaven.

25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. – Romans 3:25 (& 26 added)

~Brian Jones in Hell is Real But I Hate To Admit It (David C. Cook) pp. 141-143

*Jack Cottrell, The Faith Once for All (College Press)

Scriptures used for this blog post: New Living Translation (NLT)