THE CROSS - DOOR TO ETERNITY
It must be remembered that God was under no obligation to do anything for us. When Adam and Eve rebelled against their creator they forfeited every right to life.
"But God demonstrated His great love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Romans 5:8-9).
Jesus has purchased for us the opportunity for "eternal life" (Romans 6:23). Not just for us, but for all mankind. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). "The hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear Jesus' voice and come forth. Those who have done good to the resurrection of life and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. " (John 5:28-29).
But who has done good, for we know that "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) ? So who is worthy of the resurrection of life ?
In our own right there is NONE. There is nothing we can do either before or after we come to know of Jesus which will gain us favour with God. But we thank God that Jesus has tasted death for every man, that we might be given another chance for life.
If we are to be spared from the righteous judgment of God then it was necessary that the sentence for our sin be paid in full. This is so that no one can accuse God of favouritism. When Jesus died on the cross, God was saying very clearly, "The punishment for sin is death and all who will not repent shall die". God showed this by not even sparing his own Son from death in order that we might be saved from judgment (Romans 8:32).
But Jesus has paid our debt on the cross. The result of all the evil deeds in the world were heaped on Jesus when he died. The punishment having been paid, the sentence no longer applies. God therefore raised Jesus from the dead.
But the death sentence has been lifted from mankind also. As it is written "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). Jesus the innocent, died for all sinners. In so doing He has purchased for all men a resurrection from death. For those who have been "judged" faithful during their earthly lives it is a resurrection to life.
It is for this reason that judgment must begin at the household of God (1 Peter 4:17). We are by no means excluded from the judgment of God. Our faith, which is more precious than gold, is constantly on trial (1 Peter 1:7).
To those who have not been faithful or who have not heard of Jesus, "the only name under heaven by which we may be saved" (Acts 4:12), it is a resurrection to further "judgment" during the Millennial Kingdom.
This is possible because "he who has died has been cleared from sin" (Romans 6:7). If we are dead, then our sin is no longer counted against us. Therefore if we are raised up to new life we have a clean slate. All past things are gone and all present and future things are brand new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore Jesus has purchased for every man, woman and child who has ever lived a second opportunity for life, to be revealed to all the world through the resurrection of the dead.
For those who are called to the Divine Nature during this Age and live by faith - it is eternal life as sons of God, after much tribulation in this world. To those who are called to the new earth - it is eternal life as perfect Human beings, without the tribulation, for Satan shall be bound (Revelation 20:1-3), but only after proving themselves worthy.
It is appropriate that those who have endured and shown themselves to be faithful under test should benefit more than those who have not.
But there is a condition on this. We must choose to obey the Lord. In this Age God has extended grace toward us, because we are still in a fallen world ruled by Satan. But in the Age to come, everything and everyone will be restored to a state of perfection, and perfect obedience will be required.
In order for justice to be satisfied every person must have an opportunity
of judgment under the same conditions that Adam and Eve had. It is for
this reason that all must be restored to perfection (Acts 3:21). It will
be exactly the same for every man and woman as it was for Adam and Eve.
The power of the cross is therefore two fold:
But it does not automatically give us life. Having been set free form sin we must then accept the sovereignty of Jesus over us. As it is written "He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him" (John 5:23). If we refuse to obey the truth we will suffer the consequence. There is a second death waiting for those who refuse to obey God's Word (Revelation 20:15).
THE EXCHANGE AT THE CROSSWhen Jesus died on the cross it was the great "balancing power" of history. All the consequences of every sin in the world was canceled out by His act. In exchange for this we have received benefit from His perfect life. This is the "exchange" which took place at the cross.
In summary the exchange which took place is as follows:
Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.