The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine sacrifice. But what does the word ‘sacrifice’ mean? Many sadly use the word ‘sacrifice’ flippantly, without a true understanding of its meaning or what it demands.
To give up, let go, loss, and denial are some of the other words that are used to define the word sacrifice. Jesus had to give up or let go of his divinity for humanity (Philippians 2:6-7). He had to lose His life on the Cross so that He could gain eternal life for all who believe in Him (John 3:16). He had to deny the pleasures of heaven so that he could have communion with you and me, whom he deemed the treasures of the earth He created (Exodus 19:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Colossians 1:17). God had to deny (forsake) His Only begotten Son (Matthew 27:46) so that He would not be forced (due to His Just Holiness) to deny you and me, for sin (Belial) can have no communion with Holiness (Christ) (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).
Let us cross examine ourselves and give up and let go of the things that brings displeasure to God. Let us give up and let go of our humanity so that we can live as royalty; sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Peter 2:9). Let us lose our lives so that we can save it (Luke 17:33). Let us deny the pleasures of this earth so that we can have communion with Jesus, who is the hidden treasure in us; jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7). Let us lay our life as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) at the foot of His Cross, the place of sacrifice.
Luke 17:33 (KJV)
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine substitution where God exchanged our sin for His sinless Son, imputing His Holy righteousness for our filthy rag-like righteousness. While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). A fair exchange is one where the items being exchanged are of equitable value. Christ’s death for us demands our death (to self and sin) for Him. Christ’s life for us demands our life for Him.
Let us cross examine ourselves and live in a manner befitting a fair exchange, not shortchanging God, wherein, the lives we live for ourselves is substituted with one where we live for Him. Let us lay our all at the foot of His Cross, the place of substitution.
Romans 5:8 (KJV)
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place where divine sentence which was given as a punishment against mankind, was carried out. The Bible states that a divine sentence is in the lips of the king; his mouth transgresseth not in judgment (Proverbs 16:10). The wages of man’s sin is death; which is the sentence that a Holy and Just God had to give (Romans 6:23). The Cross was where this divine sentence was carried out, but instead of us (malefactors and enemies of God), it was God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty of our sin, with His life.
Let us cross examine ourselves and be thankful to Jesus Christ, because of whom, we do not need to be where we should have been; on the Cross, carrying out the sentence of God.
Isaiah 53:3-6 (KJV)
3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.