The Cross and Anger. In 1 Corinthians 2:2, Paul puts Christ at the very center of all things and identifies Him as the One who, through His death and resurrection, has confirmed that His work of recreation in us will be effective. So how does Christ's death, resurrection, indwelling, deity, and eternal preparation make a difference as we deal with our anger?
Jesus died to absorb the wrath of God that we deserve (Gal. 3:13). We have peace because He shields us from God's wrath, and it compels us to shield others from our wrath.
Jesus died to cancel the legal demands against us and to secure forgiveness of sins (Col. 2:13). This frees us to cancel (forgive) the sins of others knowing that God has already cancelled their sin.
Jesus died so that spiritual adulterers can now live in the very presence of God (Heb. 10:19). The sin that separated us from God was completely dealt with on the cross forever. Jesus now lives at peace with us allowing us to live at peace with those around us.
Jesus died so that we are no longer a slave to anger, but He empowers us against anger (Rev. 1:5). In Jesus, we die to the power of sin over us. We are liberated to relationship with the Father. We can say "no" to anger.
Jesus died so that we can live for Him rather than in bondage to ourselves (2 Cor. 5:15). We no longer live for ourselves, but we live for the One who died for us. We live in His comfort and mercy that we freely can share with others as we see them in Christ.
Jesus died so we can boast in our weakness (2 Cor. 13:3-4). Real strength is not dominating, overpowering, or angry. Real strength in Christ is gentle and inviting.
Jesus died so we can live by faith in Him. We claim His death and resurrection as our own (Gal. 2:20). We no longer need to defend our reputation, because our identity is in Him.
Jesus died so that we can truly see and walk in His light (1 John 1:5-7). We are no longer blinded to truth and reality. We can see anger for what it truly is and how Satan has deceived us in our anger. Anger no longer has to be part of our lives.
Jesus died to send His Spirit of power to be with us so that we can live His life through us (Rom. 1:16). His power enables us to love rather than hate. His power enables us to bring peace rather than division.
Without Christ, anger makes sense and seems like an effective way to survive our lives. Because of Christ we are able to see the damage and destruction anger brings, but we are also freed from the captivity of our anger and free to live Christ's life of joy and peace. This is the work of the cross and the good news of the gospel that we need every day.