God’s Plus Sign for a Needy World

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; 
“by his wounds you have been healed.”   1 Peter 2:24 

If you’re like me, you’re probably tired of hearing about violence, immorality, drugs, crime, corruption and other depressing topics. You’re looking for something positive. You’re searching for a message of hope. You’re hunting for a word of encouragement. And you’re wondering how to make sense of our daily struggles and burdens. This has not gone unnoticed by God. At the centre of world history He’s placed a plus sign for a needy world. For everyone who has eyes to see God has raised a symbol of hope and an emblem of assurance.

This plus sign is an ancient witness to a modern world. It can be described as the benchmark “to which all previous history looked forward and to which all history since looks back” George Sweeting. It represents the most crucial event of all time. It’s the pivot round which all the events of the ages revolve. It’s the hinge to the door of salvation. It’s the ladder that’s high enough to touch heaven’s threshold. It’s the key event by which we reckon our relationship with God. It’s the magnet that draws the heart of mankind to the One who suffered and died for sinners. It’s the Cross of Calvary on which the Prince of Glory died.

Wow! In an instrument of death and torture we have a symbol that ultimately touches the lives and hopes of everyone. For God’s Son, Jesus Christ, was crucified so that we might be brought to God. The purpose of the cross was to render sin powerless (cf. Romans 6:6). To draw you to the Saviour who hung there for your sin. To give you life to the full (cf. John 10:10). And to take away the wall of enmity that separates you from God.

So embrace God’s plus sign for a needy world. Recognize the cross as “a symbol of God’s heartbreak over a world that is gone astray” Sam Jones. Realize that we’re not saved by theories but by fact, and what is the fact? Christ died on the cross to reconcile “the world to himself” 2 Corinthians 5:19. He died to set you free so “you will be free indeed” John 8:36. And He held Himself on the cross in order to take the penalty of sin on Himself by offering “for all time one sacrifice for sins” Hebrews 10:12. That’s the good news! As Martin Luther says, “Alone upon the cross He hung that others He might save. Forsaken then by God and man, alone His life He gave!”

Isn’t that a great plus sign? Even though Christ “committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth … he himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness …” 1 Peter 2:22, 24.

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