Masters Plan

Go Therefore and Make Disciples


Our Relationship With God


I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.     Galatians 2:20

Jesus’ death and resurrection is the core of the Christian faith.  God had a plan to redeem and save those He created and loves and it would be done through the death of His own Son.  Our sin and rebellion against God came at a great price.  It was a price that Christ was willing to pay on our behalf.  His subsequent resurrection is what gives us the hope and confidence that we can live and experience His great love now and for all eternity. 

Max Lucado, in his book God Came Near, illustrates what was behind the plan of the cross:

Jesus’ death was not the result of a panicking, cosmological engineer.  The cross wasn’t a tragic surprise.  Calvary was not a knee-jerk response to a world plummeting towards   destruction.  It wasn’t a patch-job or a stop-gap measure.  The death of the Son of God was anything but an unexpected peril.

No, it was part of a plan.  It was a calculated choice.  “It was the LORD’s will to crush him.”  The cross was drawn into the original blueprint.  It was written into the script.  The moment the forbidden fruit touched the lips of Eve, the shadow of a cross appeared on the horizon.  And between that moment and the moment the man with the mallet placed the spike against the wrist of God, a master plan was fulfilled.

What does that mean?  It means Jesus planned his own sacrifice.

It means Jesus intentionally planted the tree from which his cross would be carved.

It means he willingly placed the iron ore in the heart of the earth from which the nails would be cast.

It means he voluntarily placed his Judas in the womb of a woman.

It means Christ was the one who set in motion the political machinery that would send Pilate to Jerusalem.

And it also means he didn’t have to do it—but he did.

It was no accident—would that it had been!  Even the cruelest of criminals is spared the agony of having his death sentence read to him before his life even begins.  But Jesus was born crucified.  Whenever he became conscious of who he was, he also became conscious of what he had to do.  The cross-shaped shadow could always be seen….

This is why the ropes used to tie his hands and the soldiers used to lead him to the cross were unnecessary.  They were incidental.  Had they not been there, had there been no trial, no Pilate and no crowd, the very same crucifixion would have occurred.  Had Jesus been forced to nail himself to the cross, he would have done it.  For it was not the soldiers who killed him, nor the screams of the mob.  It was his devotion to us.


Look at the deadness in your life.  Look at the anger. How is that going to be turned into forgiveness?  Look at the insecurity.  How is that going to be turned into confidence?  Look at the self-centeredness.  How is that going to be turned into compassion and generosity?  How?  The answer is that the dead stuff gets taken over by the Spirit of God….The minute you decide to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, the power of the Holy Spirit comes into your life.  It’s the pwer of the resurrection—the same thing that raised Jesus from the dead.

                                                                      Tim Keller


  • Now that Jesus has defeated death we can have a relationship with a living God, who wants to live in us and be at the center of our lives.  What in our lives might need to be “put to death” in order that He might live fully in us?
  • What do you think Jesus means in Luke 9:23 when he says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
  • How will you apply the truths in this topic to your life this week?  Be specific.

More Video Illustrations

The Crowd or the Cross
The crowd and the cross will take you in opposite directions. Which way will you choose?
He Loves You
Great music video illustrating Christ's great love for each of us through the cross.
Empty Cross
Music Video illustrating the power behind the resurrection of Jesus and the empty cross and tomb

verses related to this topic

  • John 11:25-26

    John 11:25-26

    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

  • Acts 1:9

    Acts 1:9

    And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

  • 1 Corinthians 1:18

    1 Corinthians 1:18

    For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:13-14

    1 Corinthians 15:13-14

    But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:14

    2 Corinthians 4:14

    knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.

  • Galatians 2:20

    Galatians 2:20

    I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

  • Colossians 1:19-20

    Colossians 1:19-20

    For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

  • Hebrews 12:2

    Hebrews 12:2

    fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • Matthew 16:21

    Matthew 16:21

    From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.

  • Matthew 26:32

    Matthew 26:32

    "But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee."

  • Acts 3:14-15

    Acts 3:14-15

    But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

  • Acts 10:39-41

    Acts 10:39-41

    We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after he arose from the dead.

  • Acts 26:22-23

    Acts 26:22-23

    So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.

  • Romans 1:4

    Romans 1:4

    who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

  • Romans 10:9

    Romans 10:9

    that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

  • 1 Corinthians 15:4

    1 Corinthians 15:4

    and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

  • I Thes 4:14

    I Thes 4:14

    For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

  • 1 Peter 1:3

    1 Peter 1:3

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

books related to this topic

  • God Came Near

    God Came Near

    Through vivid word pictures, Max Lucado tells the story of the most important event in history-when God Came Near.

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