The multifaceted cross-work of Christ


The New Testament presents the death of Christ as a multifaceted diamond. One facet of the gem is expiation: Christ’s sacrifice removed the liability to punishment and condemnation under which sinful people suffered (Heb. 9:6–15). A second facet is propitiation: Christ’s death appeased the wrath of God against his sinful creatures (Rom. 3:25–26; 1 John2: 2). The gem’s third facet is redemption: The death of Christ is the payment he offered to God to buy captives out of the slave market of sin (Mark 10:45; 1 Peter 1:18–19). The fourth facet of the diamond is reconciliation: Christ’s death has taken sinners from being enemies of God to being his friends and children (2 Cor. 5:17–21). The fifth facet is Christ the Victor: Through his death, Christ achieved ultimate victory over Satan and the demons (Heb. 2:14–15; Col. 2:15). A sixth facet is example: Christ’s death is both a demonstration of Gods love and a model of obedience and suffering for believers to follow (Rom. 5:8; 1 Peter 2:20–21). A final facet of Christ’s work is exchange: The righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed, or credited, to the account of those who believe in him, and their sin is imputed to him (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:19).

~Greg Allison~ Historical Theology (Grand Rapids, MI; Zondervan; 2011) Ch. 18: The Atonement.

(HT: The Cross Quoter)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

2 thoughts on “The multifaceted cross-work of Christ

  1. The Jewel of Good Friday

    In gloom where the law would condemn
    Turn the multifaceted gem.
    Through a disciple’s treachery
    And Roman soldiers’ cruelty
    The Sacrifice will expiate,
    Wipe what is written on the slate.

    Beyond their appreciation,
    And trial’s intimidation,
    A soldier’s realisation,
    There shines propitiation,
    God’s wrath appeased and placated
    For sinful people He created.

    A further facet is redemption
    Gleaming red in revelation:
    Payment made for liberation
    For freedom, and exoneration.
    Purchased by a price that was paid.
    Through Christ’s death, a ransom was made.

    As we turn the sacred diamond
    We see the criminal brigand
    Seeking in death a mind at ease,
    Reconciliation and peace.
    “You will be with me in heaven”
    A friend of God, and forgiven.

    Glorious colours of atonement:
    Christ’s victory and enthronement,
    Conquers Satan, sin, and evil,
    Dethrones the usurper, Devil,
    Makes sense of our suffering
    By His pain and death triumphing.

    Facets sparkle with a spectrum
    Of lavish love, justice solemn,
    Steps for disciples to follow,
    Tints of meaning for a tableau:
    Exemplar, representative
    A sacrifice substitutive.

    All the colours of the rainbow,
    And all the insights we can know,
    Fail to express or comprehend
    The work of the Cross in the end:
    Righteousness and Justification:
    We praise God for our salvation!

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