The Cross as a Symbol

Cross and sunset

It is common to see the image of a cross being used as a symbol – a symbol of “Christianity,” an image in art and jewelry, and so on. However, that is not what we will be discussing here. A Christian does not need a cross around his neck, nor does a church need a cross on its building. Instead, we will be talking about “the word of the cross” (1 Corinthians 1:18) – the message of the gospel.

In the gospel, the cross is shown as a symbol representing some fundamental concepts. In following Christ, we are to take up our cross (Luke 9:23), making the same traits which are symbolized by the cross manifested in our lives.

So what does the cross symbolize?Continue Reading

Christ Is the End of the Law

Crucifixion

As the gospel was being preached in the first century, many of the Jews wanted to hold onto the Law of Moses. This was done in two ways. Some rejected the gospel outright, choosing to continue following the old law and refusing to follow Christ (Acts 4:10-11; Romans 9:33-10:4). Others tried to bring the Law of Moses – or parts of it – into the gospel, thus distorting the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:6-7; 2:4-5). In either case, the result was condemnation (Romans 11:22; Galatians 1:8-9).

Despite the fact that the Jews – in large part – rejected the gospel, Paul’s prayer was that they might be saved (Romans 10:1). But in order to be saved, they needed to understand Christ and His relationship to the Law of Moses.

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4).

Jesus came for the purpose of being “the end of the law.” What does this mean? Many of the Jews did not understand this and, as a result, were not saved through the gospel. In this article, we will notice what it means for Christ to be “the end of the law.
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What the Cross Represents

Cross

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the focal point of the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:3). All that came before pointed to the cross. All that followed looked back to the cross. It is important that we see the cross as more than just an icon and understand what it truly represents.
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How Much Does God Hate Sin?

Flight of Lot

Sin is not taken very seriously by many in our society. People ignore it, make excuses for it, and joke about it. This casual attitude is in stark contrast with the way God views sin.

There are three examples from the book of Genesis that clearly demonstrate to us just how much God hates sin. We will briefly look at each of these examples as well as how they compare with God’s view of sin under the gospel age.
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What Judas Brought to the Garden

Judas Betrays Jesus

Judas is one of the most well-known villains in the Bible. Most people recognize him as being the one to betray Jesus. His decision to betray the Lord is what might be expected by one of his character. Jesus called him the “son of perdition” (John 17:12). He was identified as a thief (John 12:4-6). After betraying Jesus, instead of repenting and making things right, “he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:4-5). Peter also pointed out that all of this was foreknown by God and revealed in prophecy (Acts 1:16-20).

Shortly before being betrayed, Jesus “went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples” (John 18:1). It was here in the garden where Judas would betray the Lord. He knew the place to go because “Jesus had often met there with His disciples” (John 18:2).

So Judas went to the garden to betray Jesus. But notice what he brought with him. “Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons” (John 18:3). It is interesting to see what Judas brought to the garden, particularly in light of what Jesus brought to the world.
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The Good Shepherd

Throughout the gospel of John, Jesus described Himself in various ways. One term He used is the good shepherd (John 10:11). In the context surrounding this claim, Jesus showed us what His work as a shepherd entails, how He can be called the good shepherd, and why no one else is more qualified than He is to do this work.

So what makes Jesus the good shepherd?
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“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”

Was Jesus actually forsaken on the cross? Did the Father turn His back on the Son? Maybe believe the answer to these questions is “yes” based on their interpretation of Matthew 27:46. When we look at the context, however, we see that Jesus was not separated from the Father while on the cross.

Tim Haile has pointed out several problems with the idea that Jesus was actually forsaken on the cross in a recent article posted on the website of the Parkway church of Christ. I encourage you to click on the link below and read that article.

“My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?” (by Tim Haile)

Some time ago, I also wrote an article with the same title. If you are interested you may refer to that article as well – “My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”