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Meanings of the Cross prepared by Daniel Keeran, MSW, Victoria, Canada

The suffering and death of Jesus of Nazareth on a Roman cross near Jerusalem, is the centre of Christian faith, and at the centre of the cross is the love of God. The meanings and implications of the cross are found throughout the earliest Christian writings: The Power of God For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18 Peace with God ….the punishment that brought us peace was on him.- Isaiah 53:5 “He Himself bore our sins” in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. “By His stripes you are healed.” For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. – 1 Peter 2:24,25 Righteousness For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. - 2 Corinthians 5:21 Forgiveness Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." - Luke 23:34 Forgive as the Lord forgave you. - Colossians 3:13 New Life How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Or aren’t you aware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life. – Romans 6:2-4 Freed from Sin For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin, for anyone who has died has been freed from sin. – Romans 6:6-7 Love But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.- Romans 5:8 And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. - 1 John 4:10-11 Nonviolence “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him. “For all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Are you not aware that I can call on My Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” - Matthew 26:52-53 Giving This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? - 1 John 3:16-17 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.- 2 Corinthians 8:9 Facing Suffering (even when you have done nothing wrong) "Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." - Luke 22:42 ….fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. - Hebrews 12:2 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His footsteps: “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” When they heaped abuse on Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats, but entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. - 1 Peter 2:21-23 HOW TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN

Meanings of the Cross  

why I am a Christian

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