What did Christ do on the Cross? 


  ? Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we,
being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye
were healed.¦  (1 Peter 2:24)


  Here the holy Apostle  explains our Lord's work on the Cross. Jesus
Christ voluntarily choose to die on the cross in order to cause our sins
to die. The idea that he was sent to the cross by his Father in order to
be punished in lieu of our being punished for our sins is a preposterous
one, which the humble fisherman refutes magnificently here. 


  Look closely at what he says: our Lord  ? bare our sins in his own
body¦, that is,  all of mankind's weaknesses, and predilection to sin,
which made it impossible for us to attain unto the righteousness of God,
in his own very human body. 


  This act of  ?baring our sins¦ is also stated in the parable of the
good Samaritan    . When the man, representing all of humanity was lying
half dead on the road, Christ, our good Samaritan, attended to his
wounds (all of which were because of our sins and our inability to keep
from sinning) with oil and wine, and then put him on his beast and took
him to an inn (church) for further recuperation. The beast represents
the incarnation of the Son of God, who became man precisely to  ?bare
our sins in his own body¦ and bring about our healing.


  How did he heal us? As a man, he conquered sin; one could say he was 
?dead to sins¦. As the God-man, when he ? bare our sins in his own body
on the tree¦, He passed on to us the ability to also be  ?dead to sins¦
and  taught us the way, and took care that his successors, the Holy
Apostles, innkeepers, would be equipped to continue  living and teaching
and passing on this way.   


  His ministry was one of healing, not of forestalling  judgment and
placating his Father. He and His Father, Who are one     , were of one
mind on His life's mission,  to teach us the way, and empower us to
follow it, so that we, ? being dead to sins, should live unto


   How wretched and lamentable we would be if our Lord only forgave our
sins on the cross!   Even if we are forgiven ?seventy times seven¦      

  times, we would still be sinners, and sin causes great pain to our
soul. The Lord came to forgive, and to heal. Forgiveness without healing
is clearly not enough, because only the ?pure in heart¦ will see God,
and a forgiven sinner is still a sinner, and because of his impure
nature, unable to be with God. The Lord forgave his disciples, and yet,
when they were in the presence of the uncreated light on Mount Tabor,
they could not bear it, because they had not become pure in heart. Only
the healing of the soul, accomplished by our grace aided attempts to
follow the commandments, will allow us to gaze upon the beauty of God
without pain. 


  Our Lord's work on the cross can be considered to be ?central¦ to His
mission in that it demarcated the two portions of his work,  His
teaching and accomplishment of the way of life before his death,  and
after his human death,  His shattering of the gates of Hell and
subsequent ascension into heaven, which completed his healing of our
very nature. With the sending of the Holy Spirit, we would have all that
we need to be able to live righteously, and be ? dead to sins, (and) 
should live unto righteousness.¦



   1 Peter 2:21-3:9   For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ
also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his
steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when
he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not;
but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self
bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins,
should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye
were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and
Bishop of your souls. Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own
husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word
be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste
conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that
outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of
putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in
that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet
spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this
manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned
themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara
obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye
do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands,
dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as
unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of
life; that your prayers be not hindered. Finally, be ye all of one mind,
having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be
courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but
contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye
should inherit a blessing.