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Rejoicing in the Cross

30 Mar

John Piper on why the death of Christ matters not just eternally, but for today:

Because for redeemed sinners, every good thing—indeed every bad thing that God turns for good—was obtained for us by the cross of Christ.  Apart from the death of Christ, there is only condemnation.  Therefore everything that you enjoy in Christ—as a Christian, as a person who trusts Christ—is owing to the death of Christ.  And all your rejoicing in all things should therefore be a rejoicing in the cross where all your blessings were purchased for you at the cost of the death of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. (Don’t Waste Your Life, p. 51)

In Christ, every circumstance of our lives is redeemed to the glory of God.  Because Jesus took the cup of wrath, our cup overflows with joy.  Every single blessing we experience comes to us through the work of Christ on the cross.  All blessings . . . purchased for us at great cost . . .

2013-03-30 21.59.47-2Piper only echoes an idea expressed over two centuries earlier by Jonathan Edwards, who spoke more emphatically about this purchase:

Our blessings are what we have by purchase; and the purchase is made of God, the blessings are purchased of him, and God gives the purchaser; and not only so, but God is the purchaser.  Yea, God is both the purchaser and the price; for Christ, who is God, purchased these blessings for us by offering up himself as the price of our salvation. (from Edwards’ 1731 sermon, “God Glorified in Man’s Dependence”)

We are not a party to this transaction, but it is settled to our favor nonetheless   . . . to our utterly undeserved favor . . . an exchange that resounds through eternity as a testament to God’s grace.  The cross towers over us and shines before us.  We live in its shadow and in its light.  It matters.  It’s really all that matters.

From Don’t Waste Your Life, Piper again:

Every enjoyment in this life and the next that is not idolatry is a tribute to the infinite value of the cross of Christ—the burning center of the glory of God.  And thus a cross-centered, cross-exalting, cross-saturated life is a God-glorifying life—the only God-glorifying life.  All others are wasted. (p. 59)

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