With Easter Sunday upon us the following reading from Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ Walking With God Day by Day seemed particularly meaningful. It answers the question, What was God in Christ actually accomplishing at the cross?:
On the cross the Lord was reconciling us unto God. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Christ had to pay this penalty. The law had to have its way, and He has borne the punishment. And because of that, if we believe in Him we are free from the punishment and free of the condemnation. We are reconciled to God, and the power of God takes over and delivers us from the devil and his cohorts and transfers us into the kingdom of God. That is why the apostle puts it like this in Colossians 1:13: “who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.” That is how it happens. That is what was happening upon the cross. The devil thought he was defeating Christ, but Christ was reconciling us to God, defeating the devil and delivering us out of his clutches. He does it by paying the penalty and putting us right with God. The power of God comes into us, and we are born again, receiving new natures and becoming new people. The Holy Spirit is put within us, and Christ’s presence is ever at hand to help us.
And Christ’s resurrection ensures that this breathtaking atonement was not in vain (cf., 1 Cor. 15). Therefore with one voice we declare with the church historic, He is risen! He is risen, indeed!