WHEN WE THINK about the Cross of Calvary, sometimes we only think of forgiveness and healing. But so much more happened. We see in Isaiah 53:4–5 (AMPC) that Jesus bore our griefs, sicknesses, weaknesses, distresses, sorrows, pains, punishments, transgressions, guilt, and iniquities. His blood was shed so we would have peace, well-being, healing, and wholeness.
No More Guilt or Fear!
Isaiah 53:5 (AMPC) says that Jesus was "bruised for our guilt and iniquities." Think about that. Our Lord and Savior was bruised for our guilt. Do you realize that guilt can be part of depression? We don't have to feel guilty! Jesus died for our emotional healing as well as our physical healing.
Verse 5 goes on to say, "The chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him." Jesus was chastised so we could have peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Scripture clearly tells us that the world is going to get worse. But no matter what happens, we can live in peace when we know that we belong to Christ.
A Love Like No Other
Jesus demonstrated a love like no other in His life and on the cross. Even when people rejected Him, He still loved them and died for them. His commandment to us is that we love others the same way. "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:12–13 NKJV).
Jesus didn't look at the people who wanted Him crucified as enemies. He saw them as friends. We're here to love people. And if we're to be imitators of Christ, we have to refocus the way we look at others. We have to see them as God does.
Receiving Mercy and Forgiveness
While Jesus was on the cross, one ofthe two criminals said to Him, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom" (Luke 23:42 NKJV). This man probably didn't think he would make it to Heaven. He knew he was being justly crucified for the crimes he committed. But Jesus said, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise" (vs. 43).
We see mercy and forgiveness operating here. When we call on the Lord, not only will He hear us, He will also save us. This man received salvation shortly before he died. What a comforting thought to know that it's never too late to cry out to God—even on a deathbed.
Jesus didn't look at the people who wanted Him crucified as enemies. He saw them as friends. We're here to love people. And if we're to be imitators of Christ, we have to refocus the way we look at others. We have to see them as God does.Craig W. Hagin
But what if that criminal had never opened his mouth? Would the outcome still have been the same?
Sometimes as we're going through tests and trials, we don't ask the Lord to help us. People often think, "God knows what I'm going through." Yes, but He can't do anything unless we ask. If He could, all mankind would get saved!
We see in Matthew 18:18 (NKJV) that we have to make the first move. "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Sometimes Christians suffer because they don't know the authority they have in Christ. Jesus defeated Satan on the cross, but we have to take hold of the victory He bought with His blood. We have to use our authority; we have to believe in our hearts; and we have to speak with our mouths.
Receiving All That God Has for Us
What happened on the cross is powerful. As we celebrate Easter, let's remember what we have because of it. Yes, we have salvation and healing. But let's not forget that Jesus also died so we can have an abundant life in every area—physically, spiritually, emotionally, socially, financially, and so forth. Everything we have in Christ is because of the cross.
Craig W. Hagin
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