THE CROSS WAS GOD’S PLAN ALL ALONG

LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Why did Jesus die? That questions has plaqued people for centuries. Unsaved people explain it in ways that reduce Jesus to mere mortal who was weak and therefore deserved to die.  However, in his Holy Spirit empowered sermon, Peter declares that it was not because of the weakness of Jesus or His failure that He was put to death, but rather by the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God to accomplish His purpose.

Acts 2:22-24  “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. “

This is so very important for several reasons:

  1. Man can take no credit for anything that has been done for our salvation. No man or government can claim any credit or be given any specific blame for the crucifixion of Christ. The religious leaders of Israel cannot now claim any reward from God for having been willing participants in the plan of salvation. The Romans cannot claim any earned favor from God for having done what He wanted. All participants in the crucifixion are called wicked, and all the credit for it goes to God who ordained it to happen. Salvation is God’s plan done God’s way in God’s time.
  2. The crucifixion of Jesus does not negate the accrediting of God that came through the miracles, wonders, and signs, but rather is a part of the accrediting process, for only by death could the power and glory of Jesus be seen in a resurrection. In Acts 2:24 we read, “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” This points directly to the divinity of Jesus. Eternal life was the nature of Jesus. Death had no power over Him. He went into it knowing He would conquer it. His resurrection was more than the outside force of God working on His dead body to raise it up; His resurrection was the force and power of His own nature coming forth. He is declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection. 

How does this apply to us in a practical way today? First, none of us can take any credit for our salvation in any way. God planned it, provided for it, and prepared us to receive it. We have earned nothing. We have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus, and we are to live lives of gratitude and praise for His magnificent grace!

Second, as believers, Jesus Christ, in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, has made our lives a temple in which He permanently resides. Jesus brings the power of His life to conquer our death. We are alive in Christ because it is now our nature to be alive. When we do the deeds of a dead person we are acting in contradiction to our nature.

Many people claim that it is easier to fall back into sin than it is to stay holy. This points to a serious lack of understanding of their salvation. It is always easier to follow our nature, and in Christ our nature is to live, not to die. It should be more natural for us to be holy than to sin, and if it is not, then we need some spiritual refreshment.

Spend time today contemplating the wonder of your salvation. Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Then the next time you are tempted to sin you will discover that the nature of Jesus Christ immediately conquers that thought and brings it captive so that the resurrection power of Jesus Christ reigns supreme.

How awesome to know that Jesus lives, and He lives in us, giving us the power to be more than conquerors.  

Pastor John