Looking unto Jesus — chapter by chapter

Ephesians 2:13-14

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation. 

We would be amiss to forget that there was a vertical and horizontal purpose to Christ’s death. Vertically, the Cross reconciles us to God, but the horizontal benefit is in reconciliation with others. Through the Cross we overcome our alienation from God and one another.

Obviously the Cross is central. Tragically many choose to diminish its significance. For some it is too bloody, in fact the Bible is just too bloody for many. But the blood reminds us of what God has done for us in His great love. The blood also reminds us of the gravity of our sin. We are wise to frequently consider the absolute wretchedness of our sin, and the absolute amazing grace of a blood-soaked, but now risen Savior!

Some , who even label themselves as Christians, will suggest that the Cross is overemphasized…. others think the Cross is too violent…. others believe the Cross to be irrelevant. Paul, who authored the greatest amount of New Testament text, would shudder at such suggestions. So should we. The Apostle penned in I Corintians 2:2, “I have determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

In the book Living the Cross-Centered Life, the author writes,”This is what I hold out to my young son as the hope of his life: that Jesus, God’s perfect, righteous Son, died in his place for his sins. Jesus took all the punishment; Jesus received all the wrath as he hung on the cross, so people like Chad and his sinful daddy could be completely forgiven.”

How good, how true, and how very fortunate we are!