“According to the New Testament, the coming of Christ, his dying
and rising and ascension, is the decisive moment in God’s plan of
salvation,” writes Bishop Lesslie Newbigin.
The incarnation-cross-resurrection event is crucial to the interpretation of history. It is focal in biblical revelation. Here the Old and New Testaments merge and divide.
This event is central to the divine history of salvation (Heilsgeschichte).
Here promise exchanges for fulfillment — shadow gives way to reality — sin is judged — forgiveness is offered. Here wrath is propitiated, grace is enthroned, death is defeated, and life and immortality come to light.
At this point Satan received his mortal wound so that the final,
complete and glorious victory of righteousness is assured. At this event
the kingdom of darkness received its deathblow and the kingdom of
His dear Son its triumph.
The incarnation-cross-resurrection event is the cosmic divide that separates darkness from light, the temporal from the eternal, the carnal from the spiritual, death from immortality, perdition from life, condemnation from presence, and hell from heaven.
The incarnation-cross-resurrection event is the fountain and foundation of the salvation of God, the only hope for mankind. It is the pinnacle of Christ’s self-giving love for mankind.
It is a spectacle to the world, a stumbling block to the Jews, foolishness to the Greeks, a rock of offense to the disobedient, and a mystery to the angels. It is the manifestation of the holiness and righteousness of God in relation to sin, and the language of the love of God in relation to the guilt and lostness of the sinner.
In the incarnation-cross-resurrection event, holiness, righteousness and love blend in beautiful harmony for the glory of God and the welfare of man, bringing about salvation and making propitiation, reconciliation, redemption, restoration and glorification divine realities and assuring their eventual realization.
Salvation is a reality because God willed it. He designed it and
procured it. He actualizes it because He is the eternally outgoing
God of missions.” – Excerpt from A Biblical Theology of Missions
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