Reconciliation: The Message of the Cross (Colossians 1)

What is the message of the cross?

What was conveyed by the death of the Messiah?

Over 2000 years ago Christ was crucified on a cross in Jerusalem, Israel.

The land of Israel at that time was under the jurisdiction of the Roman Empire.

Although declared innocent, Christ died as the condemned on a Roman cross.

What significance did Christ’s death have?

Why does all of humanity look back to that moment on Golgotha?

And having made peace…  Colossians 1:20

God is the great peacemaker

When man ponders peace, his mind is invaded with thoughts of war, rumors of war, the loss of countless lives taken in war, and his own inner war.

When mankind speak peace

Mankind usually speaks of peace only in terms that concern relations between neighbors or that concern relations between various nations of the world.

The need for a greater peace

However, the need for a greater peace emerges.  That need is for peace between mankind and his Creator.

Mankind has broken God the Creator’s established law thus bringing the separation of mankind from his Creator. That separation could not be removed until the penalty the law demanded was paid.

The law required the death of a perfect sinless sacrifice (without spot or blemish). Mankind is not perfect or sinless; therefore, mankind could not and cannot pay this debt.

God is holy and just

Because God is holy and just, His demands for justice must be met.

What is justice?

Justice means that sin or the breaking of the law must be judged and condemned.

The law sets the standard. We cannot meet that standard because we are lawbreakers. We have broken the law. Therefore, the law condemns us.

Sin separated man from God

The condemnation of our sins separated us from God. To be reconciled back to God, the penalty for breaking God’s law had to be paid. That debt could not be paid by mankind.

God desired reconciliation

But God, in His wisdom and love for mankind, knew the one and only way that reconciliation could be accomplished. However, that pathway was costly. Costly not for mankind, but for God Himself.

That reconciliation was made (Col. 1:22) in the body of Christ’s flesh through His death, His sacrifice on the cross, so that it would be possible for us to be presented as holy, unblameable, and unreproveable in His sight:

  •                As a reconciled people
  •                In a reconciled state
The pathway to reconciliation came at a great cost.

→ redemption → forgiveness → reconciliation

By him to reconcile all things unto himself… (Col. 1:20)

Man cannot solve the peace problem

Man could not and never would be able to solve the peace problem between himself and God.

However, God initiated the peace process by sending Christ to die for you and me.

The shedding of Christ’s blood at Calvary was for the reconciliation of all things unto Himself.

The reconciliation of all things (Col. 1:16, 20)

  •                That are created
  •                That are in heaven
  •                That are in earth

God Himself paid the price for redemption

Christ’s sacrifice satisfied the demands of the law. His death paid the redemption fee.  His substitutionary death on the cross satisfied the Law’s demand for justice.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:14).

Because Christ paid the debt for the guilty and because justice was met, mercy can be bestowed.

Therefore, God has chosen to show mercy to those who will accept His sacrifice, believe on His Son, and ask for forgiveness of sin.

God Himself made a way for man to be reconciled to Him

The message of the cross is that God loves mankind. He so loved mankind that He was willing to step out of heaven, be manifested in the flesh, and place Himself on a cross to pay our sin debt.

His death and subsequent resurrection back to heaven show that He is Almighty God. Now that the price of redemption has been paid, He, as Almighty God, can show mercy and grace to His creation.

Those who reject His sacrifice, however, refuse to accept His substitutionary death for their sin.  Therefore, they refuse reconciliation, peace with God, and a future home in heaven.

Those who reject Jesus Christ, reject the peace that mankind can experience between man and his Creator.

If you have not received Christ and His substitutionary death for you, please accept Him today.

You can know the peace that only comes by allowing Him to be your Saviour.

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Use Discovery to Facilitate Learning

Use the discovery method to engage your students in Bible study class.

  • Ask questions
  • Stimulate discussion
  • Be prepared

Asking questions can stimulate discussion which encourages participation.

Below are some sample questions to stimulate discussion as you cover the following verses found in Colossians.

Be prepared to share other applicable Scripture references to aid students in discovering the truths of God’s word.

 

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.

Colossians 1:21-22

 

Sample Questions
  • According to the above verses, what was the condition of your past relationship with God?
  • Where did your battle with God originate?
  • According to the above verses, what is your present standing with God?
  • How is reconciliation made possible?
  • According to the above verses, if you have received reconciliation, what will be your future condition as you stand before God?
  • Where did reconciliation take place? through what process?
  • Are you reconciled to God? How do you know?
  • Do wicked works cause battles in the mind?
  • Do wicked works cause separation in relationships?
  • How do wicked works cause people to be enemies of each other?
  • How did wicked works cause enemity with God?

Creating a list of sample questions on a particular section of scriptures and preparing a list of reference verses to aid in the understanding of those verses will help you facilitate a learning environment where students can feel comfortable in sharing their ideas and questions.

Allowing the students to find the answers themselves will increase their learning and retention of Biblical truths. Using this discovery method will aid in facilitating that learning.