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The Central Point of the Cross


The price our Savior paid to redeem his people from the guilt and bondage of sin was horrific, and Scripture never tries to soften the dreadful aspects of the truth–especially if it means toning down the awful reality of the righteous wrath of God. Unless we understand and embrace the truth that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31), we cannot truly appreciate the Father’s great mercy and love toward us in sending his own Son to die in the place of sinners.

In fact, God’s love (not his wrath) is the central point of the cross. Jesus Christ willingly drank the full cup of God’s wrath so that his people could escape that judgment. It was an act of unspeakable love. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

And his death accomplished precisely what he intended. Because he bore the full outpouring of divine vengeance against sin, those who trust him as Savior will never have to face God’s condemnation. Jesus told his followers, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment” (John 5:24). The apostle John, overwhelmed with how the sacrifice of Christ demonstrates the love of God, wrote:

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:9–10)

God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16–17)

—John MacArthur, The Gospel According to God (Crossway, 2018), 94–95.

Posted 2019·04·03 by David Kjos
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Posted in: John MacArthur · Love (of God) · The Cross · The Gospel According to God · Wrath (of God)

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