The Cross Demands Forgiveness

Posted by on 04/15/2014 in:

The CrossBy Olive Tree Employee: LaRosa Johnson

Holy Week is a somber time of the year for me. As I look at the gospel accounts that detail the crucifixion of Jesus, I often ask myself, “What’s so good about Good Friday? Jesus died. He was brutally murdered. How can that possibly be good?” From there, I am reminded of the weight of my own sin that forced him to come and die on the cross. Ultimately, I find relief knowing that Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb, but rose again victorious. Yet, why did God do all of that? He did it to pay the penalty of our sins that we might be forgiven.

Yes, when we look at the cross, we are asked to look at the subject of forgiveness and reconciliation. The perfect place for us to turn in the Bible to look at the forgiveness found in the cross isn’t in the gospels, but it is found in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Romans 5:6-11 to be exact. In this short paragraph we see statements like: “Christ died for the ungodly,” “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” and “we were reconciled to God.” Jesus Christ didn’t come to bring salvation to those of us who were already on his team; no, he came to give his life on behalf of his enemies so that we could be forgiven and found righteous in the sight of the one perfect and holy God. We were saved to be spared from the wrath of God (v. 9), even though it came at the expense of the shed blood of God’s only begotten son.

Now, just think about the cross for a moment and look at Paul’s illustration in verse 7. As a husband and father, the odds are pretty good that I’d risk my life and die to save my family. I might even be persuaded to do it for a friend. Ask me to do it for my enemy and I’d tell you that you’d lost your mind! But, this is precisely what Christ did for us, with us being God’s enemy because of our sins against him. He took our punishment upon himself. By his blood he justified & saved us, and we are reconciled to God through his resurrection life. How mind blowing is that?!

We can still take this a step further. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 tells us that we, as Christians, have now been given the ministry of reconciliation that was once Christ’s. This means that it is now our job to: 1) forgive others like Christ forgave us, and 2) tell others about the forgiveness that can be found in God. First, we should look at our own lives and how awful our sins are in the sight of God; yet, as vile offenders against his law and holiness, he chose to forgive and bring about our reconciliation. If God was willing to do that for us, how much more should we extend that same compassion toward everyone in our lives (Luke 7:41-43, 47)? Even as we’re forgiving others, it is also our job to tell them that their sins can be forgiven through the blood of Christ. Jesus didn’t die just for me, but his mission was to save so many more.

While Holy Week might indeed be a somber time, I’m glad that it can also brighten my spirit. Jesus didn’t just die; he died to pay the penalty for my sin. He didn’t just rise again, but he rose to bring about my forgiveness and righteous standing before God. As a result, the cross demands forgiveness. The cross was the stipulation of our forgiveness with God, and it is also the vehicle that demands we forgive others in the same manner that we’ve been forgiven. For me, that’s what this week is all about.



  • david griffin says:

    LaRosa Johnson…. help me out… does Olivetree have a good interlinear bible with hebrew strongs #’s like Wordsearch 10 ?

    • David,

      We are currently working on interlinear Bible resources. They should be available soon alongside the release of our iOS 5.9 update. Although, not shown on the coming soon page a Hebrew resource is in the works, but we don’t have an ETA for the release of that resource.

      Resources coming soon

  • Reggie Kelly says:

    Thanks, brother. This was a precious gem, a devotional reminder of the cost and glory of the ‘God kind of love’ that is shed abroad in the hearts of those who have received it. This is shown when we too love as God loved, and His was a love that did not withhold His only Son. Amazing love, how can it be?!

  • Terry Mengle says:

    We are told to imitate Christ as Paul did. The most obvious thing Jesus did on the cross was forgive. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” I was a little surprised this fact was not included in the article.

    • Great observation! In trying to be succinct with my words, that didn’t even come to mind, but it fits perfectly. Just like Paul, we are to imitate Christ, which definitely includes forgiveness.

  • chris agaja says:

    Its always a thrilling wonder how someone could lay his life down just to fix me up with GOD. The only appropriate life to live henceforth, is to forgive others even before they offend me.

    Thanks for the message bro.


  • Allen I Merchant says:

    About ester,as Christ died and was buried, so must we die out to sin, and be baptised (buried) in the name of Jesus Christ for remission of our sins and be filled with the Holly Ghost with everdencre of speaking in an other tongue. as Christ arose from the grave, so must we rise and walk in newness of life. Acts;2:38 and ro.6;3-5. Thank you ,by ALLEN I Merchant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *