The Cross is the very centre of our faith. Think of the letters of the cross:
‘C’ stands for conquest. The cross is described in the NT as a great victory. Jesus has defeated sin and Satan and won for us a place in heaven. No-one else could have won such a victory – only the Son of God.
‘R’ stands for redemption. Victory has come at a great cost. Jesus paid the price to set us free. He paid the ransom to redeem us and free us from captivity.
‘O’ is for oblation. This means offering. Jesus has offered a perfect sacrifice for sin – his body on the cross. We cannot offer our deeds to be an oblation, or offering for our sin. Christ, the sinless one, offered his perfect obedient life to be the offering that averts God’s just anger from us.
‘S’ is for satisfaction. Nothing more needs to be done to take way our sin. Christ’s death perfectly satisfies the justice of God against sin. We can do nothing except believe and be thankful.
‘S’ is also for substitution. We hear a lot about this in the Bible. Substitution is Jesus dying in our place. We should pay for our sins, but Jesus has taken the punishment for us and died in our place. This penal (paying the price by death) substitution is the very centre of the cross. It is the reason for the victory of the cross, the reason redemption is effective, and the reason why Jesus’s death is a perfect offering and satisfaction.
Let’s think deeply on the cross and reflect this Lent and Easter on what it means for us, giving praise to God for his mercies provided through it.