What happened on the cross where Jesus of Nazareth hung 20 centuries ago on Golgotha? The Scriptures tell us Jesus’ final words were, “It is finished.” What was finished?
Genesis chapter 3:1-19 recounts the story of Adam and Eve who sinned by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In eating from the tree they became sinners, dead towards a relationship with God or as the Scripture says about man, they were at enmity with God, and without hope in the world unless God acted. The verses also contain the judgement of God against Adam and Eve for their sin.
Yet in verse 21 Scripture says, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” In this verse is the foreshadowing of the work that would be finished at the cross which is the complete and eternal atonement for the sins of mankind.
The Lamb of God, our substitutionary atonement, was crucified for the sins of the world. Scripture teaches the blood of animals does not atone for man’s sins but that the blood of God’s Son, born into the world as Jesus of Nazareth, would sufficiently atone for man’s sins.
If that is what happened on the cross and all of the Biblical history was leading to that point then is that the core of our evangelistic message? And if it is the core of our message should we be hesitant in preaching it? For if all the centuries of mankind beginning with Adam led to Jesus of Nazareth being crucified then should not our own evangelistic efforts lead to the same place?
Of course Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead on the third day and then He was preached by the Apostles as the foretold Christ of God and that by man’s faith in the Christ his sins would be forgiven and covered. But let’s, as evangelists, drive men to the cross, if they have not been before, to reckon their sins forgiven for that is where the power of the Gospel is located; as Paul says, “I boast only in the cross of Christ.”