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While I was sitting in that devotional meeting, listening to that preacher talk about lifting Jesus high, I was thinking about how he advocates homosexual marriage, about how he doesn’t believe in the Genesis account of creation, about how he believes and teaches that the grace of Christ is imputed to anyone who is baptized and receives communion. This man’s vision of lifting Christ high is composed of elevating mankind, it’s all about affirming sinful choices, and denying the immutability of our God.
When we lift Christ high in our lives, we live for Jesus. We literally breathe the fresh air of the Gospel, we live lives where repentance of our sins is a regular discipline, and our passion is to see Christ enter into hearts and change lives. Lifting Christ high isn’t about breathing the acrid and smoke filled air that wafts up from the pit of hell. Lifting Christ high isn’t about believing only the “nice” things about the Gospel and the love of God, and forgetting that our God is a God of holiness and righteousness. Lifting high Christ isn’t about taking a scissors to the parts of the Bible that we don’t particularly like.
Lifting Christ high is about recognizing that our God is changeless. The writer of Hebrews put it this way, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Lifting Christ high is about understanding that His love has always been for us, and that He’s made a way for us to experience righteousness through the precious blood of the Lamb. Lifting Christ high is about doing “…whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him…and whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…” (Colossians 3:17, 23) Lifting Christ high is about exalting Him.
There’s a promise here, too. At the tail end of John 12:32 that tells us that as Christ is lifted high that He will “…draw all peoples to Myself”
Jesus is inviting all of humanity to look to the Cross and live. Lifting Christ high isn’t only about how we live our lives, it’s about how He lived His, and about how He gave His life for you and for me. In the greater context of the passage Jesus is in the middle of a discourse on his impending death and what that death means. And, in His death He drew mankind, believing mankind, into a special relationship with Him where His righteousness has been imputed or given to us.
The cross reminds us of our sin. Christ when He was lifted onto the cross paid the penalty of that sin, forever erasing it. Today He continues to draw humanity to Himself. If mankind were not guilty of sin, then there wouldn’t have been a need for the sacrifice.
Yes, Christ was lifted high for us. Now we need to lift Him high, exalting Him, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. (John 14:6)
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