8 Benefits of the Crucifixion
How the Cross Is Your Key to Personal Transformation
How do Jesus and the message of The Cross transform our lives? On this Good Friday, Dr. Wilfred Graves discusses the crucifixion – the foundation of the Christian faith – and how this tragic event became a benefit to our lives and to the world.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me – Galatians 2:20 (ESV)
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE CRUCIFIED
To be crucified literally means “to die on a cross.” Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross are the foundation of the Christian faith. The cross is an essential symbol of God’s salvation of humankind. The cross is at the very heart of the Christian message (1 Corinthians 2:1-2). It is a graphic reminder of the terrible price that Jesus paid for our salvation. If we are to experience salvation, wholeness, and personal transformation in our lives, then we are going to have to encounter Jesus Christ and embrace the message of the cross.
Crucifixion was barbaric and disgraceful. The Romans typically did not allow their citizens to be crucified. The Jews viewed crucifixion as a curse (Deuteronomy 21:23 and Galatians 3:13). To the Jews, Greeks, and many others, the message of the cross was utter foolishness (see 1 Corinthians 1:18-23). However, as Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, God chose the foolishness of the cross to bring salvation to humankind. The message of the cross is the supreme message of God’s love for sinful humanity (see John 3:16-17).
8 BENEFITS OF THE CRUCIFIXION
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross is a benefit to mankind because:
- It deals with sin and its consequences (Romans 6:23; Romans 6:11; 1 Peter 2:24).
- It delivers us from God’s wrath (Romans 5:9).
- God redeems and forgives us (Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:22; Leviticus 17:11).
- It breaks Satan’s power (Colossians 2:14-15; Hebrews 2:14-15).
- It brings physical healing (Isaiah 53:5).
- It ultimately delivers us from physical death (2 Timothy 1:10; Hebrews 2:9).
- It reconciles us to God and to others (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 1:13-20).
- It gives us access to God (Hebrews 10:19-20).
Vicarious suffering is suffering endured by one person in the place of another. What makes Jesus’ suffering and death so powerful is that He did it for us. Jesus suffered and died in our place. Jesus’ vicarious suffering has ultimately led to our salvation and wholeness!
THE CROSS: YOUR KEY TO PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION
We are, in every way, united to Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:20, 6:14). Because we are in Christ and He is in us, every victory that He has won belongs to us. For example, when Jesus died, the power of sin over our lives died with Him. When He arose from the dead, we were raised together with Him to a new life free from the power and control of sin. We need to embrace and accept the victory that Christ has secured for us. When we embrace and accept the Lord’s victory by faith, it will manifest itself in our experience.
SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES: Galatians 2:20, 3:13, 6:14; 1 Corinthians 1:18-23, 1:27-29, 2:1-2; Deuteronomy 21:23; Isaiah 53:4-6, John 3:16-17, Romans 5:9-10, 6:11,23; 1 Peter 2:24, Colossians 1:13-20, 1:14, 2:14-15; Ephesians 1:7, 2:11-22; Hebrews 2:9, 14-15, 9:22, 10:19-20; 2 Timothy 1:10, Leviticus 17:11, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.
Dr. Wilfred Graves Jr. currently serves as a member of the executive leadership team of West Angeles Church. He is the founder and CEO of Wilfred Graves Ministries, Inc. and author of In Pursuit of Wholeness: Experiencing God’s Salvation for the Total Person. Dr. Graves holds a Ph.D. in Historical Theology and an M.Div. from Fuller Seminary, an M.S. in Statistics from Stanford University, and an S.B. in Mathematics from MIT. He is an adjunct professor at both Fuller Seminary and Biola University. To connect with him, please visit: https://threebibleteachers.com/