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THE PARADOX OF THE CROSS
The Sovereignty Of God Exhibited In Jesus Christ’s Total Submission
In 1 Corinthians 10:1-10, the Apostle Paul used the history
“Now these things befell them by way of a figure [as an example and warning to us]; they were written to admonish and fit us for right action by good instruction, we in whose days the ages have reached their climax (their consummation and concluding period)” 1 Corinthians 10:11 (Amplified Bible).
That is why their history is carefully preserved in the Books of the Old Testament and is meant to provide instruction for us today.
And the greatest mistake Israel made—and continues to make
along with multiplied billions of Gentiles—is failing to comprehend that
Israel’s Messiah was (and still is) God in the flesh! Jesus of Nazareth was
infinitely more than just a humble carpenter from
Long before the first molecule of matter was created, our Omniscient and Sovereign God knew exactly what would take place in His universe—right down to the most infinitesimal detail—and in ways our finite minds cannot possibly comprehend, His eternal plan took everything into consideration. Therefore, in no way did Satan’s rebellion and man’s fall from grace take Him by surprise. In fact, both played a key role in His only begotten Son (John 3:16) being sent to die for the sins of His people and that glorious message of hope was sent by an angel to Joseph concerning his wife Mary:
“She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God]” Matt.1:21 (Amplified Bible).
But while the joy of that firstborn Son was still fresh in her heart, Mary was given prophetic insight into the grief that His mission would ultimately bring her:
“And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, Behold, this Child is appointed and destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against— 35 And a sword will pierce through your own soul also—that the secret thoughts and purposes of many hearts may be brought out and disclosed” Luke 2:34-35 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
And we see the fulfillment of that prophecy echoed in the words of the Apostle Peter when he spoke to the crowd on the Day of Pentecost:
“You men of Israel, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man accredited and pointed out and shown forth and commended and attested to you by God by the mighty works and [the power of performing] wonders and signs which God worked through Him [right] in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 This Jesus, when delivered up according to the definite and fixed purpose and settled plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and put out of the way [killing Him] by the hands of lawless and wicked men” Acts 2:22-23 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
Did you catch that? Jesus Christ—the very Son of God—was
“delivered up” by God the Father because of and in accord with His eternal
plan! The crucifixion and subsequent death of
Adam’s act of disobedience resulted in an infinite chasm between mankind and a Holy God because absolute perfection cannot coexist with imperfection. And that principle was addressed by the Patriarch Job:
“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!” Job 14:4 (Amplified Bible).
Therefore it is totally impossible for man to span that “gulf”—that chasm—by his own effort. And the Lord Jesus Christ taught that principle in the following passage:
Abraham said, Child, remember that you in your lifetime fully received [what is
due you in] comforts and delights, and Lazarus in like manner the
discomforts and distresses; but now he is comforted here and you are
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who want to pass from this [place] to you may not be able, and no one may pass from there to us” Luke 16:25-26 (Amplified Bible).
So if there was to be a possibility of life after death for man, it had to originate with God, but how can One possessing the Personal attributes of infinite holiness and righteousness tolerate such sinful creatures? The fact of the matter is that He cannot, therefore something had to be done to negate the penalty for our sin, which is eternal death and separation from His presence. But that brings up the logical question of how could our capital crimes be forgiven without compromise?
“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die” Ezekiel 18:4 (KJV, emphasis mine).
“The wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23(a) (KJV).
A holy and righteous God demands the penalty of death for sin; therefore the only way He could forgive any of us sinners is to die as our substitute! And that is precisely what He did in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ.
No finite human can fully grasp the concept of a triune God, but the Bible reveals that the “Godhead” is comprised of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit: a single Entity choosing to manifest Himself in three separate Personages. And perhaps the best example of that fact is seen in the following passage:
“And when Jesus was baptized, He went up at once out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he [John] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him. 17 And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight!” Matthew 3:16-17 (Amplified Bible).
While God the Son, Jesus Christ, was being baptized, the (Holy) Spirit of God descended upon Him “like a dove” and God the Father spoke audibly from heaven identifying Him as His Son.
Baptism is a rite, or ritual, of identification in which believers publicly identify with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. And the Bible does not tell us why the Lord insisted that John baptize Him. Perhaps it was meant to depict His identification with those whom He came to save. But in any case it marked the beginning of His earthly ministry—3 ½ years of indisputable proof to Israel that He was their long-awaited Messiah because one hundred percent of the Old Testament prophecies relating to the Messiah were fulfilled to the very letter during that time. Yet the vast majority refused to believe and that unbelief prompted the Lord to make this very interesting comment:
“I have come in My Father’s name and with His power, and you do not receive Me [your hearts are not open to Me, you give Me no welcome]; but if another comes in his own name and his own power and with no other authority but himself, you will receive him and give him your approval” John 5:43 (Amplified Bible).
So is it not interesting that
for 3 ½ years
Two thousand years ago God allowed Himself to be subjected to the most cruel and painful death ever devised by man—crucifixion on a Roman cross—so that He could redeem all those whom He had chosen to be His own (Eph.1:4). And that act of supreme love continues to be rejected by the philosophers of this world because it presents the ultimate paradox: God dying a sacrificial death in order that men might have eternal life. But that which sinful men regard as weakness and defeat was in fact the greatest example of divine power ever exhibited. The material universe came into existence as the result of God merely commanding it to be so, whereas man’s salvation required Him to die! But the good news (the Gospel message) is that He did not stay dead. After three days and nights in the tomb, God the Father resurrected His Son victorious over death, hell and the grave and He is now seated at the right hand of the Father (Rom.8:34; Eph.1:20; Heb.7:25) where He intercedes on behalf of all those who come to Him for salvation.
So if you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, He acts as your “lawyer” before the throne of God the Father. And no matter what accusation the devil makes against you—no matter how legitimate it may be—that sin has already been paid for with the precious blood of Christ.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6 (KJV).
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order Kingdom of Antichrist in their daily news.
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.
God bless you