“The Sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary….*
So this Easter, I attempted to do this myself. How, in fact, does our system of truth – if it does – coincide with the aforementioned statement?
Here goes nothing:
The Holy Scriptures : The Bible is the grand story book, inspired by God, which reveals the story of redemption through human agency. Every story enclosed within ultimately points to the resolution of our story found at the cross.
The Trinity : The Trinity is God in three Persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The crosswas the historical juncture where, for the first time in eternity, the Son was ripped away from the Godhead.
The Father: God, the Father, revealed his infinite love for humanity when He permitted his only begotten Son to die for you on the cross.
The Son: God, the Son; the one who was nailed on the cross for you; the One who took your shame but then “shamed the shame” (Hebrews 12).
The Holy Spirit : God, the Spirit, who was present with the Son before and during His incarnation, is now active in the world drawing all to the foot of the cross to find healing and restoration.
Creation : God created the world in 6-literal days, imbuing it with meaning, value, and purpose. The brokenness that crept upon it was ultimately absorbed by God on the cross, ensuring the promise of its restoration.
The Nature of Humanity : Man was made in the image of God which was then marred by sin. God, in Christ, reconciled broken humanity with perfect divinity at the cross by becoming the very thing that destroyed us.
The Great Controversy : The very weapon Satan devised against God was the very weapon that God used to defeat him. The cross rang the death knell to Satan’s dominion on this earth. Even though the war is over, we still decide whom to crown.
The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ : As one of my friends mentioned, Christ was the only being who chose to be born, but only did that after He chose to die. The cross was, simultaneously, the ugliest and the most beautiful aspect of his incarnate existence.
The Experience of Salvation : What the cross more than achieves for us.
Growing in Christ : The process by which I am crucified with Jesus on the cross daily, through faith, so that His life becomes increasingly actualized in mine.
The church : The community of believers which finds its mission, efficacy, and celebration at the foot of the cross.
The Remnant and Its Mission: The community of God which keeps the commandments of God and holds on to the testimony of Jesus Christ; both of which find their impetus at the cross.
Unity in the Body of Christ – The community of Christ is culturally, racially, ethnically, nationally, vocationally, and demographically diverse. The cross preserves the distinctive beauty of this community while calling it to a higher standard.
Baptism : The symbol of your confession by faith to what the crossmeans to you. It’s an acknowledgment of the pre-eminence of Christ in your life and the permission of God to work through your life.
The Lord’s Supper : The symbolic service of the body of Jesus that was broken and the blood that was spilt on the cross. It’s also a reminder that we are to be cross-bearing people in our daily existence.
Spiritual Gifts and Ministries : God has gifted every member of the body of Christ with talents and abilities which are to be used for the sole purpose of illuminating the efficacy of the cross to those in and outside of it.
The Gift of Prophecy : God’s gift to the remnant community to both help illuminate the beauty of the cross within Scripture and to educate it to live the life of the cross in the world.
The Law of God : The transcript of God’s character which reveals how to love God and love others. This was perfectly lived out by Jesus, who through a perfect sacrifice on the cross, assures us that we will be made perfect by His grace through faith.
The Sabbath : The 24-hour gift of time where God rested from his work of creation and the work of redemption. Christ honored the Sabbath not only during his life, but also subsequently after his death on the cross as He rested in the grave on Saturday.
Stewardship : The cross is the penultimate model for stewardship given to humanity, where God leverages his highest capacities to serve the least of these.
Christian Behavior: Christ paid the infinite cost at the cross to restore our bodies and characters to His likeness. An aspect of Christianity, then, is about dedicating the members of our being to serve others and serve God.
Marriage and the Family : The Biblical ideal of marriage is fully realized when each one strives to manifest, through the power of God, the self-sacrificing love of Christ modeled for us on the cross.
Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary : Christ is coronated as king in the heavens, initiated as priest for his children on earth today, but these are only made possible because he was crucified as a criminal on the cross for you and me.
The Second Coming of Christ : Christ won the victory as our substitute on the cross, paving way for Him to parade through our atmosphere as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to take us to our eternal home.
Death and Resurrection : At the cross, Christ laid death in its grave. So that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
The Millennium and the End of Sin : The time period between the first and second resurrection where the righteous and the unrighteous will be sensitized to the magnitude of the cross.
The New Earth : The ultimate existential paradigm where the science of salvation will be taught through the text-book of thecross,the song of salvation sung in the key of thecross,the substance of salvation lived out through the way of the cross,among the community of the cross, forever, and ever more.
….I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption,–the Son of God uplifted on the cross. This is to be the foundation of every discourse given by our ministers.”*
May it be so this weekend, and every moment hereafter.
*Gospel Workers, 315.
What are your thoughts? What other relations do you see between SDA Theology and the Cross? Leave a Comment below.