4 Critical Questions About the Cross

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by Travis Bryan III

  1. Can you please tie together the relationship between how Jesus completely defeated Satan by laying down His life and how that connects with how divine victory is wrought as we lay down our lives?

God’s work is many times an internal work. He allowed Satan, his demonic powers, the sin nature and their blows against Jesus to enter internally into Jesus. Jesus was an absorber of evil, never resisting evil or retaliating against an evil person. Matt 5:38-48. By absorbing all evil at Calvary He extinguished it. When He drank the cup, right before He gave up the ghost, all evil passed from the cup into Jesus. He took the whole realm of evil captive inside His physical body. At that moment, He “became sin.” 2 Cor 5:21. I believe this means that He absorbed all the blows and all the venom of the demonic powers and the sin just before he died. So when He died he took Satan, the principalities and powers, the law, the collective old man and the sin nature captive along with the entire fallen old creation.  Then all of it went down with Him into His death and burial. When He was raised up, all this evil was stripped away or circumcised off of Him (Col 2:11-12). He then left it all behind Him in the grave, spiritually defeated. He left all the evil beings, sin and death, behind.  His resurrection began the new creation, now freed from all corruption.  As we believe into Christ we are introduced into a participation with Him in His death, burial and resurrection.  As believers, we undergo also His stripping and receive the His resurrection life and power of God.  This means total and complete victory for each believer over the Devil, Sin, Self and Death.  We are raised up out of evil, out of sin and out of our sins.  His life and righteousness are now able to enter into us and do an internal work there.  His righteousness and life are both imputed to us and imparted into us.  Jesus finished all the work on the cross so His work could be finished inside us. Col. 2:14-16; Eph. 2:13-15

  1. Can we explore the meaning of “always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus”? (2 Cor. 4:10-12)

This means a little bit of self in us should be killed everyday. This happens internally as we daily die with Christ (as we present our bodies as a living sacrifice; Rom 12:1-2). We walk out in the world surrendering our will to His, willing to be as vulnerable a lamb among wolves, letting go and letting God, absorbing the blows of and loving our enemies, turning the other cheek, overcoming evil with good, living the cross lifestyle. In V11, we are i-die-daily8-smalldelivered over to death. 2 Cor 4:11. This means we are being handed over continually to external death circumstances. “Death” here is primarily used as a metaphor and it means that we are handed over to death circumstances, circumstances we can’t control where we are taken out beyond our zone of control and comfort.  We are reduced to a state of helplessness and hopelessness.  We only have our faith at the bottom of this trough.  We are broken and made weak all the while trusting that resurrection life and power that will come to us from God by our faithing it through metaphorical cross-like experience.  External death circumstances assist us in dying to self internally.

3. Mind if we talk about the settled issue of the daily cross as is conveyed in Galatians 5:24?

I see Galatians 5:24 as pointing to our positional death with Christ and not to our ongoing experiential death with Christ. Positionally, we have crucified our sinful desires. Experientially, the Self along with its sinful desires are being crucified daily.

  1. What is the significance of the order of Gethsemane in relationship to Calvary?

It is when we face imminent death or danger and we realize that we are helpless and that only God can save us. We have hit bottom at this point. Death to self is much more likely to occur in these helpless times. Self-preservation has finally been forced by the enemy to an end.  We know we can’t do it anymore. Now only God can.  You can see the dilemma perfectly in Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane. “Father, let this cup (of evil and death) pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” Jesus here has surrendered His heart and life to His Father’s decision. He does not want to experience this death any more than we do but He has let go of control and put the matter entirely in His Father’s hands. This is the low point to which we must all come in order for transformation in us to take place.  The outcome is then His death and then His resurrection to Kingship, glory, and power.  The physical cross event itself later that day was really anticlimactic for Jesus.  He had already suffered a very real death to everything except His body while there in Gethsemane.

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