The Purpose of the Cross
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” 1 Peter 3:18
The Lord and my ex-husband must have been in cahoots the day my ex-husband told me for the umpteenth time to slow down in my fast-paced lifestyle. I refused to listen. Only hours later, a police officer pulled me over and gave me a warning to SLOW DOWN. That’s exactly what the Spirit of God has done countless times in my voracious hunger for God’s Word and my tendency to go zooming through it. One night, exhausted, rushing around getting the ministry’s 15 special needs and senior rescued dogs ready for bed, I hurried over to my Bible to grab a verse before hurrying off to finish my chores. Within seconds, God’s Spirit showed me five words of a verse I had never slowed down enough to notice.
“TO BRING US TO GOD.” (Upper cased added). How many times have many of us, whether believers in Christ or even non-believers, heard or told someone Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins so we can repent, believe in Christ, be forgiven by God and be promised eternal life in HEAVEN so long as our repentance is genuine and our lives bear the fruit of truly being committed to God and His ways? The purpose of Jesus dying on the cross is solely about spending eternity in the awesomeness of a beautiful, perfect, and happily-ever-after location called HEAVEN instead of hell, right? It’s all about HEAVEN, right? Wrong!
God’s Spirit showed me with utter clarity in those seven words a message He had mercifully given me some time ago, but that I believe many are missing. The purpose of the cross is NOT all about eternal life in heaven, not that that isn’t indescribably awesome. Christ died on the cross “TO BRING US TO GOD.” God is perfectly holy and righteous. We can’t have a relationship with Him and be in His presence because of His holiness and our sins. Christ died to take God’s wrath at us for our sins on Himself so by repentance and faith in Him we can be forgiven by God and Christ can thereby BRING US TO GOD.
The purpose of the cross is for Christ to BRING US TO GOD so we can have a RELATIONSHIP with God NOW and FOREVER in heaven that without Christ’s atonement for us on the cross we can’t have. The cross isn’t merely about living in a perfect place forever, nor solely about having a relationship with God in heaven. It’s about the unfathomable, indescribable, awesomeness of being in a forever RELATIONSHIP with God. Christ died on the cross to allow us to have forever fellowship with God by turning away from this world’s wickedness, believing in Christ, and living unto God.
Have you been brought to God through Christ?