One of the most significant symbols of the Christian faith is the cross. The cross, which in the first century was used as a symbol of profound suffering, has become a symbol of the Christian faith because of the significance and importance of Jesus’s payment on the cross for our sins. I would like to take my next few blogs just to consider some of the very significant things that we find in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we examine the triumphs of the cross we find various passages that highlight the meaning and the significance of the cross. One of those passages is in Colossians 2 where we read Paul’s words, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcised and of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross,” (v.13-15 NIV). There are several very significant aspects of the triumph of the cross that are found in this passage. First of all, we see in verse 14 that we have victory over the law. I appreciate that Paul begins by discussing the fact that we were dead in our sins in verse 13 and then tells us that God has indeed forgiven us for all of our sins. He says, “having canceled the written code,” the written code here is referring to the law that was against us. Since we couldn’t keep the law, it was like a bill of indebtedness. Paul states that God wiped out the certificate of our debt. In fact, no trace remains of our obligation to the law. It was impossible for us to fulfill the holy demands of the law but Jesus Christ, when he was nailed to the cross publicly took all of our sins upon Himself. When Christ was crucified God nailed the law to his cross. God saw above the head of our blessed Savior the ordinances that He gave at Sinai. The verse says Jesus “took it away.” This in the Greek language is in the perfect tense which brings out more fully the thought that that which was done on the cross has a present and abiding significance. We had broken the law of God, and when Jesus poured out His blood, He paid the penalty that was the just reward for our sins. This does not mean that we can live lawlessly today because we are still called as children of God to live and walk in a righteous manner. In fact, we have been given the Holy Spirit for the very purpose of living in a way that would be pleasing and acceptable to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The second triumph that we see in this passage is the fact that the cross gives us victory over all evil forces. Notice Paul’s words where he says, “having disarmed the powers and authorities,” we see a very significant authority that is now on our side. The word “disarmed” speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ having victory over Satan and his evil cohorts. As the curse of the law was against us so was the power of Satan and his demons. In the cross Jesus as a public spectacle triumphs over all those evil forces. Those evil forces have been cast out and put to shame by Jesus’ death on the cross. It is critical for us to grasp the significance of what I am saying. We never have to yield to temptation or allow Satan’s power to get a get a foothold in our lives. The victory has been won through the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s interesting to consider that the hostile powers and hateful actions that resulted in Jesus being nailed to the cross was a time when his enemies felt a tremendous victory in having murdered an innocent man. But in actuality what they thought was there apparent triumph was their deepest humiliation and defeat. Some 40 years ago George Brett of the Kansas City Royals hit a three-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth against the Yankees. When the Yankee manager protested that Brett’s bat had pine tar on the barrel of his bat the umpire signaled that George Brett was out and the game ended with the Yankees apparently being victorious. A day or so later the commissioner overturned that decision, and the results of the game were completely different when the game was played to its completion. What an excellent position and provision we have in Christ. You don’t need to read your horoscope to find out what your future is. Jesus’ death on Calvary’s cross is the cancellation of our sin debt and also the cancellation of Satan’s power and authority in our lives. When we recognize the meaning of the cross and see that Jesus Christ has come to give us new life and deliver us from the debt of our sin what a glorious reality that is to embrace. When Jesus disarmed Satan with His death on the cross, it was like he was stripping a defeated enemy of his armor on the battlefield. Evil and the devil no longer have power over the believer as Christ has disarmed him. We have been set at liberty to pursue a relationship with love and security in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This Easter weekend my prayer is that you will experience the joy of celebrating the triumphs of the cross and the victory of the empty tomb. Remember the empty tomb reminds us that all of Jesus’s claims have been proven true. That’s great cause for celebration this Easter weekend.
Pastor Rich Sivo