Why the Cross?
The blood of a blameless (sinless) animal was required in the Old Covenant as atonement and for forgiveness of sins [Leviticus 17:11]. In the same way only blood could take away our sins forever, and not just the blood of animal or sinful man, but the blood of the One who was God and sinless man [Hebrews 9:12-14]. In other words, it was the blood of God that ran down the cross of crucified Christ (This is where it is important to note that Jesus came from the seed of God). This therefore is the Blood of the New Covenant (which is the blood of God) that was shed for all of mankind [Matthew 26:28] for the forgiveness of sins. This is how Jesus became the “Sin-offering” for all of mankind. Similar to the body (flesh) of the Passover lamb, the crucified body of Jesus brought us health (healing) and everlasting life [John 6:58].
Why crucifixion? Because at that time, it was the most extreme form of tortured death which God was willing for His Son to take up. It was the most humiliating death because it was done in public; it was also the most painful because death did not come in an instant. All this Jesus foreknew and was willing to do it because He had the eternal perspective in mind (the salvation of mankind). He became humble and meek as a lamb [Isaiah 53:7] and accepted His crucifixion to bring to fruition the plan of salvation. This is why He is known as our Passover Lamb [1 Corinthians 5:7].
The meaning of the Cross
When Christ was crucified, He who knew no sin became Sin, so that we who were sinful could become righteous because of His one act [2 Corinthians 5:21]. He who was the blessed One became a curse so that we who were under the curse could be removed from the curse [Galatians 3:13]. He who is Life, died for us so that we who were dead (by Sin) could rise to eternal Life (by His resurrection) [John 11:25]. It pleased the Father to see His Son take upon Himself all Sin, curse, sickness and death not because the Father wanted it, but because of the fruit that this death would bring; thereby providing His grace to all of mankind. The blood of Jesus so to say when it was sprinkled upon the mercy seat in Heaven pleased God the Father and the Sin of all mankind was taken away bringing us eternal redemption [Hebrews 9:12], so that never again would man be a slave to Sin.
Just as in the Old Covenant the High Priest had to show himself to the people for the assurance of the forgiveness of their sins, in the same manner it was necessary for Jesus to rise again on the third day to show the people the fruit of His redemptive work i.e. our justification [Romans 4:25], it was only then, that men could know, that all their sins was taken away.
The finished work of Jesus on the Cross means that our sins have already been forgiven; we are no longer under the burden of Sin. Through faith in Jesus we are already saved, no effort on our part can add to the saving grace. For our salvation, we are called just to believe in Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith [Hebrews 12:2].
The meaning of the death and resurrection of Jesus
Thus the death of Jesus on the Cross was the end of the Old Covenant and the resurrection of Jesus was not only an acknowledgement of the salvation for mankind, it also earmarked the beginning of the New Covenant and brought about the restoration of authority (dominion) back to mankind through Jesus. Anyone who believes in the name of Jesus has His authority, which cannot be taken away by Sin or Death.
The death of Jesus brought unto man Salvation [Romans 1:16] (Greek – soteria). The word ‘Soteria’ includes all of these meanings: forgiveness, deliverance, protection, provision and healing. The resurrection of Jesus was not just a result of external power that reached into the inside of the tomb and caused Jesus’ dead body to rise, rather it was the result of the inner power (knowledge) which was present in Christ, before He could die, through which He was confident and preached to his disciples about his resurrection.
This is the knowledge that God wants you and me to have, that God has given us all things pertaining to life & godliness [2 Peter 1:2-3], that we have been already set free from the bondage of Sin, we have a new nature that is born again within us the moment we accept Christ as our savior, we are now a new creation [2 Corinthians 5:17]. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within us [Romans 8:11]. We are now part-takers of His divine nature [2 Peter 1:4].
So we are no longer just mere human beings today, but because of Christ we have a divine nature (in the form of His Spirit) residing within us. When we walk in the divine nature we can overcome all things, and this is the realm where we experience the supernatural. Understanding this is critically important to know how ‘Healing’ & ‘Miracles’ work today. Thus knowing what it means to be called a “child of God” takes on new meaning when we understand that through Christ we are now co-heirs of the Kingdom of God [Romans 8:16-17] and every blessing, healing and deliverance is our God given right in this life on earth and in Heaven our eternal inheritance.
Those who earnestly and diligently seek God must believe in Him and God will reward them (with the revelation of Himself through His Word) [Hebrews 11:6].