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A Cross - From Humiliation to Reconciliation

From Humiliation to Reconciliation

Isaiah 45:21-24

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At the inhumane prison in Germany every Friday the Nazis made the prisoners undress for medical inspection. They were humiliated. The women had to march before grinning guards. On one of those mornings Corrie Ten Boom said, “Yet another page in the Bible leapt into life for me. ‘He hung naked on the cross.’ I had not known-had not thought-the paintings, the carved crucifixes showed at least a scrap of cloth. But this I suddenly knew was respect and reverence of the artist. But oh-at the time itself, on that Friday morning – there had been no reverence. No more than I saw in the faces around us. I leaned toward Betsie, ahead of me in line. Her shoulder blades stood so sharp and thin beneath her blue and mottled skin. ‘Betsie they took his clothes too.’ Ahead of me I heard a gasp. ‘Oh Corrie, It had to be, and I never thanked Him…’ ” (p. 196b, The Hiding Place)

  1. The Forecast of the Cross Had to Be
    1. God promised the cross (v. 21).
    2. God invited people to the cross (v. 22).
    3. Every human being will be affected by the cross (vv. 23-25).
  2. The Death of Jesus Christ Had to Be
    1. Planned from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
    2. Because of the sins of the world.
      1. God’s holiness had to be satisfied (propitiation).

        It is the means by which the reconciliation of God with mankind is attained.

      2. Man’s sins had to be forgiven (justification).

        God knew that mankind could not live with guilt. This is the freeing from guilt and the penalty of sin.

      3. Heaven’s citizens had to be holy (righteousness).

        There had to be a setting apart.

    3. Central point of the on-going work of Christ, from eternity to eternity: There would be no salvation without the shedding of blood. It had to be!
  3. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Had to Be
    1. Because a cross and death could not hold him (Acts 2:24).
    2. Because Jesus promised He would be raised from the dead.
      1. He spoke of His death and resurrection in parables (John 2:19; 12:24).
      2. He spoke of His death and resurrection directly (John 10:11, 17-18).
    3. Because it had to be the beginning of life (John 14:19).
      1. Jesus Christ is the first fruits (I Cor. 15:20-23).
      2. This is the work of God (Eph. 1:20).
      3. It makes possible our hope and eternal life (I Pet. 1:4).
  4. The Plan of Redemption Had to Be
    1. Man’s sinfulness demanded it (Rom. 6:23).
    2. God’s love provided it (Rom. 5:18).
    3. Faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus appropriates it (Rom. 10:9).

The Bible is true: We are responsible to God. He said: “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” (Rev. 1:18).

It has to be!

Marcus Peagler

Director, Discipleship and Family Ministry, MBCB