The Cross-Part Two
The Cross and What God Did to Christ
In a previous Spiritual Nugget (The Cross and the Hatred of Satan) we stated that Christ' physical suffering on the cross (and the beating and mocking He received prior to the cross) are not the supreme sacrifices that accomplished our salvation. Again this does not lessen the terrible suffering Christ experienced. But the shame and suffering came as a direct result of Satan's hatred and sin. We must never confuse what Satan did to Christ on the cross with what God did to His Son.
What God the Father did to Jesus Christ on the cross is actually much worse. It actually started happening at Gethsemane. Jesus was in so much sorrow that He was sweating drops of blood. Why was He in sorrow? Because He was starting to feel the separation from His Father. On the cross, God put on Christ the sins of all mankind (past, present, future). Something more happened. By taking on the sins of mankind, there was separation between Christ and God. But even more than that. When Jesus stated "It is finished", He then died and experienced the second death.
The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:16, 17; Ezekiel 18:4,20). And the penalty of death is not just death, but eternal death. Scripture identifies two deaths. There is the first death which the Bible refers to as "sleep" (John 11:11-14; 1 Cor 15:51; 1 Thes 4:14) which everyone experiences. Then there is the second death, which is an eternal death. This is the death that the lost will experience at the end of the millennium (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8). In the second death, God, the Source of all life, abandons the unrepentant to their own choice of unbelief, leaving them without any hope whatsoever.
Christ experienced on the cross the "second death", the eternal death, that is "the wages of sin". Hebrews 2:9 states" He "by the grace of God should taste death for every man."
When Jesus was "hanging on a tree", the Jews understood He was under the irrevocable curse of God (Deut. 21:23) which was equivalent as experiencing the second death (Is 53:4, 10). Therefore, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Gal 3:13).
So what did God the Father do to Christ on the cross that purchased our salvation? "He [God] hath made Him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin" (2 Cor 5:21).
But there must be one more step after this. What good is a dead man on a cross(tree). One more powerful act must take place.
(Excerpts from the book Beyond Belief by Jack Sequeira)
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