One Cross, Three Deaths, One Resurrection

BY RODNEY SHAW

The cross Jesus lugged up Calvary was not for Him alone. There were actually three that died on that cross. The invisible ones were just as significant as the visible, though the death of the visible actually killed the other two. An innocent man died, sure enough, but He did not die alone. He took two ancients with Him.

One had raged for thousands of years. It was unquenchable and violent. Its thirst was never satisfied. The pangs of its desire constantly ached in God’s bosom. And thank God, it was killed on the cross. One of the invisible deaths on the cross was the death of the requirements of God’s law that were against us. Whether it is the written law or His law that is written in our conscience, none of us can live up to the requirements of His law. But on the cross He “Blott[ed] out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:14).

Again Paul wrote, “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15a). The strife that existed between the justice of God and the sinfulness of
man was extinguished when that enmity was executed on Calvary. We, who were enemies of God (Romans 5:10), have now found peace with Him. (See Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14.) This peace is not merely tranquility of mind, but the cessation of strife between two opposing parties.

Moreover, there was yet a third one that died on the cross. Paul continued in Ephesians 2:15b-17, “for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in
one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.” The “middle wall” (Ephesians 2:14) that existed between dews and
Gentiles was slain on the cross. Before Calvary, Gentiles were “without Christ,” “aliens from the commonwealth of Israel,” “strangers from the covenants of promise,” “having no hope,” and “without God.” Adding insult to injury, Paul mentions that we were “in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). To be without God is a horrible thing, but to be without God in a fallen world is a worse thing.

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We are no longer the poor kids on the street. There are no longer the “haves” and the “have note.” Why? Because of the three deaths on the cross. When Christ died, He slew the enmity of God’s law and the enmity that existed between the Jew and the Gentile.

But three deaths is not enough. The final victory was the single resurrection of Christ. The enmity twins died forever, but Christ rose from the grave. “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea
rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 8:34). Hallelujah!*

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE APOSTOLIC SENTINEL, APRIL 2001, PAGE 2. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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