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Sunday Recap
April 4, 2023

The Cross and the Power of the Blood


Life is in the Blood

On this Palm Sunday, Pastor Eli kicked off a new series, Death to Life, with a word on the Message of the Cross and the Power of the Blood.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV)

Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?

God came more than just to forgive us. He came to help us overcome. He came to destroy the devil’s work for good (1 John 3:8).

In Genesis 3, we read about when evil entered the world. The devil deceived Adam and Eve, severing their perfect relationship with God. With a bite of the fruit, their eyes were opened, shame entered in, and evil started to run rampant. In Genesis 3:15, we read a foreshadow of what’s to come through Jesus’ life: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” And it’s in 3:21 we read the account of the first sacrifice. God slews an animal (probably a lamb) and makes a covering for Adam and Eve. The first physical death should have been Adam and Eve, but it was this animal. This also is a foreshadow of what is to come through Jesus’ life—He will be the substitute, the final and perfect sacrifice that covers our sins in full.

"Jesus dying on the cross covers our sin, and His blood cleanses us." ~ Pastor Eli Nelson

Why couldn’t God just forgive us and get rid of the evil in the world?

So as the account in Genesis helps us see, the evil in the world around us is actually the same evil that is inside of us. So if God were to get rid of all evil, he would need to get rid of us. We are contributors to evil. But praise God that He didn’t want to get rid of us. He wanted to use what happened in the garden for His good and glory. He wanted to both forgive and restore the severed relationship. Wrong was done by us, but He was the one who was going to make it right. And our just and perfect God would make things right indeed.

Pastor Eli shared that in order for us to enjoy this restoration, we have to be capable of giving and receiving it, which is contingent on our moral goodness. But there’s nothing good in us. There are sparks and glimpses because he’s written the Word on our hearts. We know good and evil. In order to enjoy a restored relationship with our Heavenly Father, God needs to transform us in His image.

How does he transform us into His image?

He gives us of Himself. He doesn’t tell us to figure it all out by ourselves. He knows we wouldn’t be able to do that. So He came down Himself and gave Himself so we could live through Him.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

He wants to be with you

God has always had a plan to be reunited back to you. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice (atonement) for our sins and the entrance to transformation in our lives. His body was broken so ours wouldn’t have to be. The punishment we deserved was placed on Jesus. And it is by His blood that we have become overcomers (Revelation 12:11,) and we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). His blood poured out at the crucifixion cleansed us and gave us life. Because of this, we don’t have to think about how we are going to be good for God—it’s not anything of our own doing. It’s all about how we allow Jesus to live through us (Galatians 2:20). God not only wants to forgive us of our sin, but He wants to bring restoration to our relationship with Him, and that only comes by the shed blood of Jesus.

"How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" Hebrews 9:14 (NV)

Because Jesus’s blood has cleansed and restored us, we are enabled to serve the living God. As Christ’s ambassadors, we are set free from our bondage and entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). He infuses His goodness into us. It gives us the ability as we should to love people and to love God.

"So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (NIV)

A few other verses to further your study: Romans 3:23; 1 John 2:2, 4:9; Isaiah 1; John 12:14; Mark 10:45; Isaiah 53

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