The impact of the cross cannot be exaggerated. It is where God rolled up His sleaves and showed His power over the darkness. In one single blow Satan was totally decimated for time and eternity. Sin lost its grip on humanity, as it went into the body of one holy Man, the Lamb of God. He offered Himself as the toxic waste dump of the human race, and His sacrifice accomplished all that the Father intended.
When it was through, the Son could declare boldly, “It is finished.” No more self-flaggelation, no more condemning thoughts to prove we are sorry for failing again. “There is therefore now no condemnation!” All sins, past, present and future were fully atoned for. It was Satan’s darkest hour, and he did not even know it. He thought he was triumphing, and he found himself totally ruined beyond the possibility of a comeback.
The Supreme Court of the universe issued the verdict, confirming that “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” This side of the cross features only a mop-up campaign. The death blow has been dealt to sin and Satan. “Once and for all” is Paul’s phrase to clarify the finality of one Man’s death.
It gave the appearance of defeat. Christ at His weakest was God at His strongest. His surrender astounded the army of God. All heaven rejoiced when the wounded Warrior rose on Sunday morning, forever marked with bodily signs of warfare and victory. Our part is to announce the absolute victory of light over darkness in the contest predicted from the beginning and now a completed fact. It is also to believe in the effectiveness of the cross and to live out the reality of Calvary’s hidden glory.
The cross means that…
We are saints, not sinners. I am not schizophrenic When Jesus addressed the broken woman trapped in adultery, He gave her grace and truth: “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” His command was an invitation to freedom. Sin had ruined her life, driven her helpless and hopeless. Now the Prince of Peace was releasing her from its ugly grasp into the liberty of holiness. In the command comes the promise of Presence. The Spirit at work within makes it all possible.
Sin is no longer inevitable. The cross did not mean sin would never happen. It did mean the option of not sinning was now present. People in bondage to the powers of darkness have no power to resist. They are “dead in their trespasses.” The cross changed that curse, bringing life to the redeemed. Now there is no sin that I must commit or that I cannot overcome. Worry is not necessary, fear is not automatic, lust is not inescapable.
Grace deals with the power of sin, not just the penalty. We have focused on forgiveness and missed transformation. When we only feature forgiveness, we treat sin as an inevitability. We end up excusing it rather than overcoming it. We can always pull out the forgiveness card. We lower the bar and give forgiven sinners no hope for an ultimate victory. Grace makes forgiven sinners overcomers (Rom. 6:14). A disobedient Christian is an oxymoron.
Christ’s death was my death. This kind of truth is not validated by experience but by faith. This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. This truth is proclaimed five times in Romans 6. I am dead to sin. Period!