5 Ways the Cross Delivers

Examining the essentials of the Resurrection reveals its tremendous impact. We can see five broad ways the truth of the Resurrection affects us.

1. Peace

The impact of the Resurrection is peace. This peace is immediate between God and us. It grows daily as Jesus establishes His rule on Earth.
Peace with God: We have peace with God. We have been justified before God through Christ’s death and Resurrection. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1 NIV).
Jesus establishes peace by conquering His enemies: Jesus is bringing peace to the world by destroying every rule, authority and power against Him (1 Cor. 15:24–27, Psalm 110, Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14,15).
Peace forever through Jesus’ rule and kingdom: Jesus’ Resurrection established his rule characterized by peace (Ephesians 1:19–23, Rev. 1:5, Romans 14:17, Rev. 11:15).

2. Presence

Jesus’ Resurrection allows believers in Christ to experience God’s presence in a dynamic and personal way.
Holy Spirit’s presence: Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers after His Resurrection and ascension. He promised the Holy Spirit (John 14:15–31). The Holy Spirit is active in our lives (1 Cor. 6:19, Eph. 1:13). We can participate with the Holy Spirit by walking with Him (Gal. 5:16–25).
Jesus is our advocate before God and He is with us always: (Matthew 18:20, 28:20, 1 John 2:1) Jesus is our high priest before God(Heb. 4:14–16).
We can draw near to God’s throne: Since we have been reconciled by Jesus, we can now draw near to God with confidence seeking his help, wisdom, strength and forgiveness(Heb. 4:16).
Seated with Christ: Paul astounds us with the mind-bending truth. We are already seated with Christ in heavenly places because we are in Christ (Eph. 2:6). We are in Christ’s presence always.

3. Performance

It is easy for believers in Christ to try to add to God’s grace with their own works. Christ’s Resurrection shows that He completed our salvation with the Cross and the Resurrection. Our good deeds and righteous living are our response to God, not trying to earn our way to heaven. We can jettison the fear of performing for God. Paul makes these points clear.
Saved by grace, not our works: We are saved entirely by God’s grace. Ephesians 2:5 states that God made us alive in Christ even while we were dead in our sins. Our righteous living confirms who we are. It does not save us. We are freed from the performance trap that marks all religions of the world that require works for salvation.
Living as “children of God”: It happens every day—we see our parents in our words, actions or in the mirror. We see ourselves in our children. This only seems nature. It is genetic or learned. It should not surprise us when we start to reflect God’s character. God has given us the right to become His children through believing in and receiving Christ (John 1:12). We are reborn, as new creatures, children of God through the power of the Cross and Resurrection. We begin to live our lives to reflect our Father, God, and His Son, Jesus. As we begin to take God’s word inside us and let the Holy Spirit lead and direct us, then we see God’s character reflected in us. It shows up in our actions, choices, thoughts and attitudes. Righteous living and being holy becomes more natural and easy. We will be perfect and holy as our Father because His Spirit resides in us. This is why Jesus could say that when we come to him that his yoke was easy and light (Matt. 11:29–30). The proof of the power of the Resurrection is visible in the change in our lives and other believers. Just as children grow to reflect parents, we grow to reflect Christ (Eph. 4:12–16).

4. Proof

There are several phrases that we use, like “talk is cheap.” Jesus made some astounding claims, such as “your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:1–12) or, referring to his death, “destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19–22). The Resurrection provides a powerful confirmation and validation of Jesus’ claims, teachings and actions. Several proofs flow from Jesus’ Resurrection:
The Resurrection proves the saving power of the Cross: The Resurrection validates Jesus’ work on the Cross. Jesus’ death could be seen as just a miscarriage of justice by corrupt religious leaders, but the Resurrection proves that it is more. God used Jesus’ death as an act of judgment and as a means of justice, grace and salvation. The work of redemption is done. Our sins are really forgiven and we are reconciled to God.
Proof of Jesus’ claims: Christ’s Resurrection shows that Jesus is who he claimed to be, God’s Son, and not just a man.
• Declares victory over death and evil: Jesus’ Resurrection proves that Death has been defeated along with all other Evil powers and principalities. They were all conquered at the Cross (Col. 2:13–15).
• Jesus is like no other: The reality of the Resurrection separates Jesus from all other “teachers, prophets, religious leaders,” demonstrating that He is God. No other religious teacher, prophet, leader has declared these impossible acts, then has done them.

5. Perspective

The Resurrection confirms God’s nature. Scripture communicates who God is to us. We see God’s attributes in His work through the Cross and the Resurrection. God is love. He saved us. God is righteous. He judges sin. God is active. He intervened when we could not save ourselves. God is for us. He reconciled us to Himself and justified us through Christ. God keeps His promises. He has fulfilled each promise He has spoken. God is eternal. He has been working out His plan of salvation from before time began. Knowing God gives us other perspectives that help us live in this world.
God is for us: God offers us through Jesus the chance to become children of God. As His children, we have eternal life and we are already seated with Christ in heaven.
Urgency: The Cross and Resurrection creates an urgency and hope in us. There is an urgency because Judgment is coming. Those we love must know Christ. There is hope since we will see an end to the current pain, suffering, injustice and evil. Jesus’ Resurrection has brought a new Kingdom and sealed the victory and His return will complete it.
Removes Fear: Many fears spring from the fear of Death. Jesus has conquered Death. We can now look beyond these fears knowingthat Jesus has authority over all fearsincluding Death. And we can be reassured that God knows our needs and will provide when we ask.
Evil is Defeated: The Resurrection shows that God, the Father, has subjected all things under Jesus’ authority. Jesus is King of kings, Lord of lords. Evil is still present, but all Evil is subject to Christ’s authority. We now know that Evil has limited power and time. We must draw near to God and cast our anxieties on Him. We must gird our spiritual armor and stay in step with the Holy Spirit.
Keeping our eyes on Christ: The Cross and Resurrection shows Jesus as our Savior, our hope, God’s Son and the only way to God, the Father. Our perspective must be to cast off other idols, beliefs or religions and distractions and run our race, keeping our eyes on Christ.

Choose Eternal Life 

The Cross and Resurrection divides history. The Resurrection confirmed God’s acceptance of Jesus’ work on the Cross. The Cross without the Resurrection would have been a miscarriage of justice. But with the Resurrection, the Cross became God’s act of salvation, the glory of Christ and hope to all those who believe. And on one day to come, each person’s response to the Cross and Resurrection will divide humanity for all Eternity.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV
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