July 17 Update from Pastor Nathan

Announcements

Dear Liberty Church,

As we continue in our study of Luke (one that has lasted nearly 20 months!), we arrive this upcoming Sunday to a very important passage. All of the person and work of Jesus Christ is crucial in God’s redemptive plan – His incarnation, His active obedience (fulfillment of the Law), His sinless record, and His resurrection – but quite literally, the crux of salvific history is the cross (crux comes from the Latin meaning cross, as does crucial). Not a single event in all of history is of more importance.

At the cross, God reconciled to Himself “all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by Christ’s blood” (Colossians 1:20). The cross is where Christ became “obedient to the point of death” (Philippians 2:8), enduring its shame, the shame heaped upon Him as the sins of the world were imputed to His account. And He did this not merely for our sake, but primarily to the glory of God.

Contrary to what some believe, the cross is not divine child abuse in which God the Father forces His innocent Son to endure such an awful punishment. Far from it! The plan of the cross was conceived from eternity past within the Triune Godhead, an eternal agreement between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. No one took Jesus’ life; He laid it down on His own accord. He was not forced to the cross; He chose the cross out of love.

And what does that mean for us? For one, it means no more boasting. The cross means many things, but essentially, it is a heavenly declaration that we all have failed miserably. There is no good in man, nothing he has ever done, that is worthy of eternal life. God has every right to condemn each and every one of us. And yet, the cross stands in the way of that condemnation, as if it too declares with a heavenly shout, “My Son for you.” This is what makes the cross so beautiful, despite its horror; so glorious despite its hideousness. The cross was devised as a means of torture, but God took what was evil and turned it into the means for the salvation of the world.

Do you ever doubt that God loves you? Look no further than the cross of Jesus Christ. This is all the declaration we need to know that God is love, and is in love with us, and if we are to boast, may we only boast “in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:13). Indeed, this boasting is truly the crux of being a Christian.

At the cross with you,

Pastor Nathan

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