Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Cross of Christ @ Easter (Part 5)

Result of the Cross - Reconciliation:

"The first thing that has to be said about the biblical gospel of reconciliation, however, is that it begins with reconciliation to God, and continues with a reconciled community in Christ. Reconciliation is not a term the Bible uses to describe 'coming to terms with oneself', although it does insist that it is only through losing ourselves in love for God and neighbour that we truly find ourselves. 
Reconciliation with God, then, is the beginning.  This is the meaning of 'atonement'. It alludes to the event through which God and human beings, previously alienated from one another, are made 'at one' again... Thus, reconciliation, peace with God, adoption into his family and access into his presence all bear witness to the same new relationship into which God has brought us.  
But reconciliation has a horizontal as well as a vertical plane. For God has reconciled us to one another in his new community, as well as to himself."
John Stott; The Cross of Christ, p225-227

The cross, then, doesn't just dictate our relationship with God, but also our relationship with one another.  When we see ourselves all as equally in need of the redemption and salvation that could only be found at the cross, then it is easy to see how we are all now unified.  Unification in turn depicts a common goal, mission, outlook and understanding when it comes to doing life together.  The church must be unified by the cross if it is to live as the holy community God desires.

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