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Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

Paradoxes of the Cross

Intro.

1.  Paradox: “Contrary to expectation”…

  a.  “an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises”

  b.  “one (as a person, situation, or action) having seemingly contradictory qualities or phases” (Merriam-Webster)

2.  The cross of Christ is filled with paradoxes that declare the redemptive work of God in Christ and confirm our faith, 2 Cor. 5:19.

 

I.  CURSE AND BLESSING, Gal. 3:10-14.

  A.  The Curse of Sin and Death, Gal. 3:13.

    1.  Defilement (of sin), cf. Deut. 21:23.

    2.  Curse of sin: Exposed to divine vengeance (Rom. 6:23).

    3.  Jesus accepted the vengeance of sin’s curse in our place, 2 Cor. 5:21; Isa. 53:6, 8; 1 Pet. 2:24.

  B.  The Blessing of Forgiveness and Life, Gal. 3:14.

    1.  Heirs of the promise (Gen. 22:18); Acts 2:38-40.

      a.  In Christ, Gal. 3:26-29.

      b.  Through faith, Rom. 1:16-17.

    2.  God removes the curse of sin through the cross; through it God accomplishes “the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21).

 

II. HUMILIATION AND EXALTATION.

  A.  Humiliation of Christ, Isa. 53:3-6, 10-12; Phil. 2:5-8.

      -Become man, experience disgrace, shame, torture and death.

  B.  Exaltation, Isa. 53:12; Jno. 17:5; Heb. 2:5-9; Phil. 2:9-11.

      -After the sorrow and suffering; crowned with glory and honor.

 

III. INJUSTICE AND MERCY.

  A.  No Crime in Him (Acts 8:33) Jno. 18:29-38 (19:4, 6); Lk. 23:22-25.

      -Jesus died, not for his crimes, but for ours.

  B.  Mercy of Jesus toward His Enemies, Lk. 23:34, 43.

      -Jesus reconciled us (his enemies) to God, Rom. 5:10-12.

 

IV.  HATE AND LOVE.

  A.  Hated without a Cause, Jno. 15:22-25.

    1.  Despised and rejected his message and his works.

    2.  Envy of the Jewish leaders, Matt. 27:19.

  B.  Love of God, Rom. 5:6-8.

    1.  The cross defines love for us, Jno. 15:13; 1 Jno. 3:16.

    2.  Saved from wrath of God through Him, Rom. 5:9.

 

V. SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.

  A.  The Punishment of Sin that Jesus came to Save Men from was Ignored by Men at the Cross, Matt. 27:24-25; cf. Lk. 23:39-41.

  B.  Justification from Sins is obtained because God did not Ignore Us in Our Sins, Acts 2:23; Rom. 5:9.

 

VI. DEATH AND LIFE.

  A.  Horrific Death by Crucifixion, Jno. 19:30-35.

  B.  Glorious Life from Death of Sin, Rom. 6:23.

 

VII. DEFEAT AND VICTORY.

  A.  Apparent Defeat in His Death, Matt. 26:56; 27:50.

  B.  Victory over Sin and Death, Heb. 2:14-15; (Acts 2:24; Rom. 1:4) 1 Cor. 15:56-57; Rom. 8:31-35.

 

Conclusion

1.  Every attempt to oppose and reject Jesus turned out to be the very things God used to accomplish His purpose of our redemption from sin (Acts 2:23).

2.  What marvelous wisdom, what enduring love! 1 Cor. 1:18, 24

3.  The cross is our incentive to humble ourselves in faith and obey Jesus Christ to be saved. (Matt. 11:28)