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Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:18-21
Paradoxes of the Cross
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.
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)