The cross (3)
Thirdly, the cross symbolises redemption. The word ‘redemption’ means saving or being saved from sin and evil. Jesus is our Saviour. His death on the cross, and His resurrection, means we’ve been saved from our sin. The Bible says: ‘There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12 NLT). Without Jesus’ death, our sins would have separated us from God forever. Because Jesus fulfilled every requirement of God’s law on our behalf, we have been forgiven and declared righteous. The apostle Peter wrote, ‘He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.’ As our substitute, Jesus suffered our justly-deserved punishment, freeing us and giving us eternal life. ‘God made him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV). On the cross Jesus became what we were – sin – so we could become what He is – righteous. When Jesus died, the curtain in the Temple was torn. ‘At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.’ This symbolised that the barrier between us and God, which was built from our sin, had been removed. Jesus’ death saved us from a life of sin and shame, and instead opened up a life where we can personally come to God, and enter His presence. Before the curtain was torn, only certain people were allowed into the holiest place of the Tabernacle - where they could meet with God (you can read about this in Exodus 40). Thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice, we’ve been redeemed. We’re no longer condemned, but instead we’re accepted and forgiven.
Get a piece of paper and write down all your mistakes and regrets. Then rip the paper in two, from top to bottom, to help remind you that those things don’t stop you from being loved, or accepted into God’s presence.
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