What Was Accomplished on the Cross?
Col. 2: 11-15
Last year I was preaching a sermon about “The preaching of the Cross” from 1 Cor. 1:18. Now just exactly a year and a week I’m preaching again about the cross. If there is one topic I would love to preach, it would be the cross. The cross has become the universal symbol of Christianity. Catholics and non-Catholics have used the cross as their identification with Christ. Churches puts cross on their rooftops, hospitals on its walls, homes, schools, charitable institutions, have crosses. Visit a cemetery for Christians and you will see that for each tomb, there will be a cross. Let’s have a deeper study on what was accomplished on the cross.
I. What the cross is:
A. It is the power of God unto salvation to all who will believe. 1 Cor. 1:18
B. It is the wisdom of God. 1 Cor. 1:24.
The cross divides religion. All of them tell that there is a way to God, and you must do right and live a good life so you can win God’s approval. Christ’s death on the cross tells us it’s not what you do but what He did that can bring salvation. The cross divides the future of all. Those who trust Christ’s work on the cross are headed to heaven; those who reject it are on their way to hell.
II. What was accomplished on the cross (v. 13-14).
A. Our sins and trespasses were nailed on the cross; As the Roman soldiers are crucifying our Lord, God the Father also was crucifying our sins and our trespasses. Literally speaking our sins can never be crucified but symbolically it can be done as it was written here in verse 13.
A criminal punished of crucifixion will have a sign written at the top of his head. It includes his name and the crime he has committed. In the case of Jesus, Pilate found no fault in Him so he wrote. JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. It was written in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. The chief priest wants it to be changed to “I am the king of the Jews” but Pilate said “what I have written I have written”.
God have written our sins and nailed it also at the cross of His dearly beloved son. The sin and the shame that we should suffer was put on to Jesus as it was written in Isa. 53: 6.
In the Philippines especially in the place where I was born, Carabao (water buffalo) was the beast of burden. Farmers cannot till the land without the Carabao to pull the plough. It’s a big crime if you steal a Carabao from a farmer because it’s just like killing him and his family. I still remember when the police have paraded the Carabao rustlers with a placard on their body written “I’m a thief”. Those people were put into public shame.
B. Ceremonial law was abolished on the cross – (v.14). There was lots of Old Testament law which are no longer binding or need not be followed. The Jewish sacrificial system with its burnt offerings, the Levitical priesthood, the purifications for mothers after birth, and many more. Why is this so now? Because of the cross of Christ. The Bible says the ordinances were nailed to the cross by God Himself.
It’s a marvel that as the Roman soldiers were nailing the cross of the hands and feet of our Lord and dear Saviour, God the Father was also nailing the OT regulations which was burdensome to us. The Lord made things new and easy for his children. The cross that was to cause shame, pain, and fearful death for us became a means to make things good and light. . As we have seen last week, the law is composed of three things, the moral, ceremonial, as well as civil or social law. The moral law is still binding but the ceremonial law is ended. It’s a sad thing that lots of groups who calls themselves Christians still wants to add those things that the Lord has already abolished.
C. Defeated Satan and his evil cohorts – (v. 15). When Christ was crucified Satan thought he won the battle but it is not so. Indeed Christ died but only his physical body. Satan’s defeat is one of the results of Jesus’ death on the cross. By the shed blood on the cross, we can overcome Satan. (Rev. 12:11).
The cross gave the ultimate victory over Satan and his cohorts of evil spirits (Jn. 12:31, Heb. 2:4). Hollywood Christianity as well as superstitious people believes that the cross can drive away evil spirits. You can see that from movies. People put crosses on their body; use the cross as pendants to give them sure protection from everything that is evil. How did this start or when did it begin? I cannot tell you. But I honestly believe that the Holy Spirit that is within the believers is the one that is really protecting us from all evil (1 Jn. 4:4). V. 15 tell us that that having defeated Satan and his evil associates; He made a public show of them. The illustration is like a victorious Roman general parading his defeated enemies in the streets of Rome. That is how our Lord triumph over His enemies.
Our sins and trespasses were nailed on the cross. The Old Testament ordinances were nailed and made of no effect as well. Satan’s power together with his fallen angels was also defeated. Christ is victorious in His death and will always be victorious in any situation. He is the almighty God who can protect us and help us.
Preached: 28 April 2013