When one reads Rom. 1:18-3:20, it becomes evident that all mankind is sinful at best. God had to deal with our sin and that took the death of His Son. You can't work your way out of your sins, attend services to trade off your sins or do enough visiting and giving to pay for your sins. All our sins were dealt with at the cross!
But let me share something else with you to think about. The cross is about more than just forgiving our sins. The cross is about finding life! The cross is not the end but the beginning of finding life with God. The cross is not the last thing we hear about our Lord! It reveals the wonderful, life-giving power of God extended to us through Jesus. God had a purpose in the death of Jesus. His purpose was not only the payment of our sinfulness but it was holy and joy filled heart reaching out offering what God possesses that we don't: life!
Through the crucified Christ, God makes us alive. Oh, there is forgiveness of sins but it goes beyond that. God, through Christ, reconciled us to Himself to share in His life. The defeat of sins enslavement and power by raising Jesus from the dead brought us life and the power of His life to overcome our own weaknesses and failures. The life extended to us is not for the future but for us here and now! We live in a sin-filled world, with death all around us. We encounter death each and every day. But in Christ Jesus and the power of the cross, we have been blessed with life. Was it not Jesus who said, "I came that they might have life and have it in abundance"?
All this "pumping up" people to be healthy and wealthy is false! All this "power of positive thinking" approach and trying to stir people to "feeling" something just distracts from God's life and purpose of the cross. It makes our lives shallow and empty. We become the focus. Just listen to our assemblies how we talk about us more than God! Many seem to try to move people into a false sense of reality and security. On the other extreme there are those who just preach/teach how we just plod along, hoping that the next turn isn't something devastating in our lives, hoping that one day we will be free from this earth pains, so just grin and bear it!
The cross says, "Paid in full." It continues to speak, "The cross is entrance to My life!" Believe in it. Trust in the life that was promised us and walk in the power of that life. Stop cheating ourselves by looking at us and our puny activities. Stop relying on yourself and get your focus off what you have to endure day by day. The cross speaks, "Get your mind/heart off of you and look to the life that is new to the glory of the Father."Isn't that what it is really all about?