The Victories of the Cross

To some, the Cross of Christ is a symbol of ultimate defeat. After all, to be strung up and nailed to a cross was punishment and a death reserved only for the worst of criminals. So awful was the cross, we read this:

Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (Deuteronomy 21:23, see also Galatians 3:13)

But the Cross of Christ was different. His Cross, a symbol of defeat to some, became the symbol of everlasting victory to others. The very first one to experience the victory of the Cross was the penitent sinner, crucified next to Jesus. The next one was that Roman centurion who had no choice to but confess:

Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39)

The death of Christ was the greatest achievement ever accomplished by any man on earth. The influence of Christ has reached every nook and cranny of the world, influencing in one way or another every human being. The influence of the Cross reached the highest heaven and the lowest hell.

The height of man’s sin and his complete failure is seen at the Cross in the crucifixion of Jesus, and at the same time Christ’s greatest victory has come by His Cross. The victory of the Cross is made up of a number of things:

1. A victory over the Law

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13—14)

In God’s great mercy, He took pity on every sinner—Gentiles and Jews alike—and made a way to forgive them. Those living without Christ are literally morally and spiritually dead, not only because they have transgressed God’s perfect law but because that is their state before God: guilty and dead. A person in that state has no hope; they are utterly impotent, unable to help themselves.

However, whatever was nailed to the Cross was identified with Him in His death. So our sins: nailed to His Cross, died on that Cross. Our sinful nature: nailed to His Cross, died on that Cross. The Law, with its righteousness and burdensome requirements, in force against us because of our sins: nailed to the Cross, died on the Cross. Christ has done away with the Law with its rules and regulations because He Himself had made reconciliation possible between sinful man and his holy God. Christ did the work; He did the obeying. As the perfect Man, He represented us on the Cross; when He died on the Cross, our sinful natures died on the Cross. Because He fulfilled every single demand of the Law on the Cross, we don’t have to.

All that is left for man to do is simply believe in what Christ did on the Cross and claim His victory over the Law and its demands. There is no other way to God; no matter of obedience to any law or doctrine will get a single soul through the pearly gates.

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. (Romans 3:20)

The death of Christ gives US victory over the Law.

2. A victory over sin

Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:26)

Not only was the Law nailed to the Cross, so was sin: our sins and the sins of the world. Sin had to be done away with once and for all in order to do away with the inevitable result of sin:

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:56, 57)

Because sin lurks in the darkest recesses of the human heart, and because there is nothing we can do about our sinful condition, we are necessarily unfit to have fellowship with our holy God. That’s why our sins had to be nailed to His Cross and why our sinful natures—our dark human hearts—also had to be nailed to the Cross. Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves. That’s our victory over sin! He died for our sins so that we might daily have victory over them.

3. A victory over death

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14, 15)

The wages of sin is death and the fear of death stalks all people. Fear of death is the one thing every human being has common with every other human being. Fear of death chains a man; it robs him of his liberty. Fear of death makes a man afraid to live. Death itself always means separation: separation from loved ones, from the world we love, and, for the sinner, separation from God. Spiritual death, though, is the worst kind of death because it is to be dead while alive: it is to be separated from God.

But the death of Jesus Christ meant the death of fear to all who trust and have faith in Him. The apostle Paul wrote this:

…but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:10)

Those who have found Jesus Christ to their Lord and Savior have also learned that they will never, ever experience death. The body may die, but thanks to the Cross, we have NO fear of death because we will never experience so much as a moment of separation from our Heavenly Father!

Sin was nailed to Cross; done away with forever. For those of us who live this truth every day of our lives, we know exactly what Isaiah meant when he wrote these stirring words:

On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 28:7, 8)

4. Victory over the devil’s work

He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (1 John 3:8)

The question naturally is, What is devil’s work? The Bible tells us that the Devil is a deceiver and a liar what he is he does. The Devil’s main task is to deceive man and blind him to the things of God. The work of Christ, though, is to undo what the Devil has done. The work of Christ is to shine the truth of God into man’s life. Simply put, the Cross of Christ is undoing the persistent lie that began in the garden of Eden:

You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. (Genesis 3:4)

The truth is, the wages of sin is death, and our Lord suffered in order to put away sin and end the devil’s work. God will never punish sin in his children because He did so in Christ. The devil’s work as far as the believer is concerned is over. All who have trusted in Christ and in the efficacy of His redeeming Blood, have been set free from the delusion perpetrated by the devil.

The work of the devil has been cut short in the case of those who glory in the Cross.

5. Victory over all!

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Colossians 2:15)

Everything associated with the devil was disarmed—cast off—and put to shame by the Cross of Christ. The power of the Prince of Darkness was crushed when he was trampled on by the Son of God, one infinitely more powerful than he. The death and resurrection of Christ resulted in the frustration of all the devil’s plans.

In John 12, we read about Jesus’ thoughts on this matter:

Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?” (John 12:27a)

Our Lord knew what was to come; it was only natural that He was apprehensive. However, Jesus didn’t stay apprehensive; He knew what He had to do and why He had to do it:

No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:27b, 28a)

Jesus submitted to His Father’s will:

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.(John 12:31—33)

This “kind of death” would be unlike any other death. Jesus’ death was completely unique in every sense of the word. It was not only unique, but it was powerful; so powerful it has touched, in one way or another, all people, angles, and demons. Note what the Jesus said: all men will be drawn to Him, either by grace or for judgment. Because of the Cross of Christ, our Savior has been appointed judge of all:

For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:31)

Yes, all people will eventually stand before Christ, either at the Throne of Reward (2 Corinthians 5:10) or at the Great White Throne of judgment (Revelation 20:11—15). We will all stand before Christ, either as sinners saved by His blood, or as sinners who have willfully rejected His sacrifice. “All men” will be drawn to Christ, but not all will be saved. Jesus Christ died for the salvation of all men, but all men must respond to God’s call.

The Cross of Christ symbolizes His great victory over all; all things that have ever stood between God and man. Sin, death, hell, the grave, and Satan have all been destroyed by the risen Christ.

1 Response to “THE CROSS OF CHRIST, PART 5”

  1. 1 Gabriel Alexander January 2, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Victory of the Cross? How about this for VICTORY:

    “… through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens.” Colossians 1:20

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