Jesus’ death on the cross, followed by his resurrection is the central event of Christian history and is THE proclamation of the New Testament. We believe that Jesus died as the atoning sacrifice for all our sins, which then brought us peace with God. On the cross he bore the curse, he took our punishment, and he tasted death for all of us. Jesus, as in innocent man, was treated as guilty so that we, the guilty, could go free. Isaiah 53:6 summarizes it by saying, “The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” That word iniquity summarizes the fullness of taking the punishment, bearing the curse, and being abandoned by God. It was something done on our behalf, where someone else stood in our place, he took what we deserved so that we could receive what HE deserves. And the result for us is liberation, freedom, and restoration. In other words: SALVATION.

For the believer, the cross also represents ‘a means of escape’ from our old sinful nature. Because of what we have inherited from Adam due to the Fall, there is already a moral and spiritual corruption within us from the moment we are born. What we need is a new, redeemed nature, one to replace the old. The death of Jesus provides this for us. Through faith and in our union with him, believers are now able to ‘put to death’ our old sinful self, and then receive the new nature through the power of his Resurrection. As the Scriptures say in Romans 6:5, “We become like Jesus in his death, so that we can be like him in his resurrection.” The cross then is our means of ‘putting to death’ anything that might remain of the old sinful nature (see Colossians 3:5, for example) as we now live in obedience to God’s commands and his Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 4:14-15 summarizes it this way: We are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Scriptures on Jesus being a Sacrifice for our sins:

Genesis 22:13-14, John 1:29, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Peter 1:18-19, 1 John 4:10, Hebrews 7:27, Hebrews 10:12

Scriptures on our union with Christ, both in his death and in the new life of his resurrection:

Romans 6:4-5, Colossians 2:12, Colossians 3:1, Philippians 3:10, 1 Corinthians 6:17, Galatians 2:20, Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, Romans 8:11, Ephesians 2:4-5

Scriptures on what Jesus took for us and suffered for us on the cross:

Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 27:46, Galatians 3:13-14, Hebrews 2:9

Scriptures on the death of the Old, and the living out of the New:

Galatians 5:24, Romans 8:13, Colossians 3:5