April 14, 2018

The Power of the Cross

Romans 8:1-10

What the law was powerless to do . . . God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.

—  Romans 8:3

Laws and rules set standards of acceptable practice within communities, nations, and organizations. Laws set boundaries to try to create safe environments for all. But we all know that laws and rules have their limits. Laws are made by people in power. Laws can easily become forms of oppression, favoring some people while limiting and burdening ­others. What’s more, laws do not make people good. Following a rule to avoid being punished does not make a person virtuous.

Romans 3:23 makes clear that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But at the cross, Jesus took on himself the punishment for our sin. He paid the consequences of our lawlessness. And the power of the cross is not only in the payment of this debt but also in the freedom it offers. Jesus’ death on the cross opens up for us the power to live full and holy lives, unburdened by the weight of guilt, shame, and ­human expectations. God is holy and good, and God created human beings as imagebearers of his own goodness and holiness. The cross frees us to live as God intended—humbly, joyfully, and lovingly.

Today, may the power of the cross release you into full living by God’s goodness, mercy, and love.

Jesus, you carried our burdens and guilt to the cross for us so that we can be free! Help us to live in your freedom and love. In the power of your resurrection we pray. Amen.

About the author — Laurie Zuverink

Laurie Zuverink is an ordained pastor who has served in several capacities of ministry in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. Her work ties into the lives of young people, and her passion is to empower and equip the next generation of servant leaders. Pastor Laurie and her husband, Mark, have three children—one in grad school, one in college, and one in high school. Pastor Laurie enjoys deep conversations, bike rides, exploring the shores of the Great Lakes, and watching well-played soccer.

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