What Happened on the Cross?

False theories on the atonement.

It is possible to talk about the cross but have false views about what actually happened. For example, MLJ notes how some argue that the cross was a “tragedy” or “accident.” Some see the cross a failure; an unexpected surprise even to Christ. However, Scripture teaches that the cross was not only expected, but it was the very plan of God in order to accomplish salvation (Matt. 20:28, Luke 24:13-35, Heb. 2:9).


Sin has separated man from God and the only way of reconciliation is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. His life, death, and resurrection have made it possible for sinful humanity to be restored to God. But, why is the cross necessary? What happened on the cross that made salvation possible?

We’ll continue our study of “Great Doctrines of the Bible” by Martyn Lloyd-Jones by examining chapter 28, “The Atonement.”

While there are many things Jesus did that are not recorded in the gospels (John 21:25), each of the gospels highlights the cross. In fact, MLJ states that, on average, the gospels devote one third of their space to the death of Christ. Such emphasis is carried out in the book of Acts and the teaching of Paul.

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