At the Cross (2)
Sunday, March 11, 2018
We are continuing to look at what happened at the cross. Last week we noted that at the cross (1) the great love of God was manifested for us, (2) Jesus died to free us from the bondage and chains of sin, and (3) the law of Moses was finished, fulfilled, and nailed to the cross. Let’s consider a few other things that also occurred there.
At the cross the church was bought and paid for with the blood of Christ. Paul informed the Ephesian elders of this point, when he stated, “ Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). In his letter to the church at Ephesus, he also spoke of this: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it” (Eph. 5:25). When we realize that the same blood that redeemed us (I Pet. 1:18-19) also purchased the church, it is easy for us to understand why He (Christ) is the Saviour of the body (Eph. 5:23). Those today who say that the church is not important are saying that the blood of Christ is not important, because every drop of His blood went into the purchase price of His precious body, the church (Eph. 1:22-23; Col. 1:18). It is to this blood-bought body that all the saved are added upon their obedience to the plan of salvation clearly revealed in His New Testament (Acts 2:47). The next time you are inclined to minimize the importance of the church, remember that He paid for it with His blood. Christ must have believed that the thing purchased was worth the price paid for it. Thus the church of our Lord is of the utmost importance.
At the cross peace was made; Jew and Gentile were reconciled. Paul writes, “And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight” (Col. 1:20-22). In a parallel passage in Ephesians 2:14-17 Paul wrote, “For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” Please notice the connection between this fact and the previous one. It was in this “one body” that was bought with Christ’s blood, that peace was made and reconciliation took place.
Paul M. Wilmoth