Summary: In this message I am inspired to bring before my readership the different dimensions of the significance of the Cross in a Christian’s life...
DO NOT BE CROSS ABOUT THE CROSS!!!
Its quiz time folks!!! Tell me what “furniture” housed in the Solomon’s temple of the Mosaic Law dispensation symbolized the Covenantal relationship between the Almighty and the Jews? Pat yourself on the back, if your answer was the “Ark of the Covenant”. By the same token (Hey, one more question comes your way) what “furniture” mirrors the Covenantal relationship between our Heavenly Father and us in this Grace age? If your answer is the “Cross” then pat yourself on the back again.
In this message I am inspired to bring before my readership the different dimensions of the significance of the Cross in a Christian’s life...
“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ...” –Gal 6:14
There is Apostle Paul in his singular Epistle to the Galatian Churches’ hell-bent (pardon the expression) upon not so much writing as engraving in the hearts’ of the Christians’ therein that the Cross of Christ alone can atone for the sins’ of the World, for “some leaven” in those Churches’ was leading them away from the true “Salvation through Cross” doctrine to the false “Salvation through Jewish circumcision” one (Gal 5:9-10). Come what may, typically he was willing to endure all persecutions for taking this stand (Gal 1:10/ 5:11).
What is so “great” about the Salvation through the Cross of Christ? (Heb 2:3-the author of the epistle of Hebrews when he qualified “Christian salvation” with the word “great” was also “battling” more or less the same situation, Apostle Paul encountered whilst penning Galatians). Hey, it’s free, fair and does the spiritual work that “weak” folks like us cannot accomplish by ourselves (Romans 3:20-28 TLB)!!! Imagine if entering into Covenantal relationship with our Heavenly Father (which would eventually pave the way for other indescribable blessings) involved great sacrifice of money or energy? The rich and the strong would steal a march on the poor and the weak!!!
There is no work involved, so to speak “in becoming one with our Heavenly Father” (John 17:21), rather salvation through Christ entails we in faith simply accept the “work already finished” on the Cross albeit with the contrite heart (John 19:30/Acts 2:37-38/Rom 10:8-10).
Caught in the crossroads of life wavering between holiness and sinfulness? Oh remember that it is at the Cross one crosses over from the realm of darkness into the one of light (1 Peter 2:9-10). Without delaying, take the way of the Cross!!! Pray this prayer with a contrite heart ”Lord Jesus I come to the Cross as a hopeless sinner who with his own limited strength cannot live a God-honoring, holy and a pure life. By the blood shed in the Cross, cleanse of my sins and with your power release me from the grip of my own selfish desires and habits. I believe you died for my sins and rose again from death as per the Scriptures for my sake. Forgive me and fill me with your Holy Joy. Amen”.
“...If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”-Luke 9:23
The word “Cross” used in this context is not the “Cross of Justification” but the “Cross of progressive sanctification”. Simply put it is the purifying pain which ensues out of we keeping God’s glory uppermost even while keeping our desires and sometimes even our legitimate rights aside (like remaining silent in the face of stark injustice-1 Peter 2:18-23), in any area of our lives be it emotional, financial, physical, social or spiritual.
Our Heavenly Father desires that all those who enter into a Covenantal relationship with Him should mature and go on to become like His Son (our Saviour Christ-2 Cor 3:18/1 Peter 1:5-11/2 Peter 3:18). Eventually doesn’t our Heavenly Father want to fill Heaven with Jesus-like people (“the Brothers of the Lord and in the Lord”) who having begun the work of already consistently praising Him on this side of Eternity (Heb 2:11-12/Psa 22:22) ought to continue the same on the other side perpetually. Our permanent, fulfilling activity in Heaven would be that of continually praising our Father who is oh-so-worthy of our praises!!!
Now how do we acquire Christ-like qualities...His all-consuming desire to obey the Father borne out of His immeasurable love for Him, His meekness, gentleness, perseverance, patience....? Certainly, not by attending a Bible College for a term (though some good does come out of it)!!! Let the Scripture take over at this stage...
“...we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope”-Rom 5:3-4
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”-James 1:2-4