The Cross of Christ

One thing I say frequently to our church, to our church leaders, and to various worship leaders and teams that I partner with is “if we get too far away from the Person and work of Christ, then we’ve simply gotten too far away.”

Sometimes we may feel that we “graduate” from talking about the cross of Jesus Christ and His mission.. that somehow it is a mere starting point and a starting point only, milk for brand new believers.  In fact, though, not only do we begin our relationship with Jesus Christ through His cross, but we must necessarily and consistently revisit the cross.  What is the message of the entirety of Scripture about, if not the saving work of Jesus Christ.. the loving, redemptive plan of God the Father?
1 Corinthians 1, especially towards the end of the chapter, lends itself well here.  Paul is explaining that in the midst of Jews looking for supernatural miracles and Greeks demanding only “deep,” “wise” discussions, he simply “preach[es] that Christ was nailed to a cross” (verse 23).  Paul is driving home the point that the work and mission of Christ is the most miraculous event in history, and also the most intellectually stimulating and ‘deep’ topic to be understood.
There is nothing greater to be conceived by the human mind than that of Jesus suffering in agony, vulnerably naked, bleeding and dying a death fit for the worst criminals.
Why?
Why is this event so significant for mankind?

The cross speaks love over humanity.  The cross allows us to be at peace with God.  Each of us – cross-culturally, not bound by any decade or era, but every single human being ever – has chosen to worship ourselves, our preferences, and our pride (after all, every ‘sin’ is rooted in, “What do I get out of it?”)  instead of God, and the consequences are death.  It’s easy to look around and see the staggering amount of death and suffering in our world that this “worship of self” has brought on us (e.g., war, monopolizing of resource, mental and emotional disorders, political turmoil, etc.), but it even brings spiritual death.  Separation from God, now and forever, which is bitter, lonely, and agonizing.

And God loves us too much to let this spiritual death happen to us without an opportunity for redemption.

Think about it.  If someone you loved dearly walked in front of a train, you would do anything to save them – even if that meant running onto the tracks to push them out of the way and dying yourself.  And that’s what God did.  He died the death that we earned for ourselves, the death that we deserve.  He accepted the responsibility and consequences of our proud self-worship, and He pushed us out of the way of the train.  He died so we could live.

To grasp this is to know freedom from self-worship.  To understand the culture-defying self-sacrifice that Christ displayed is to repent for the sin that called Him to the cross.  To reflect on the love of Christ is to worship Him facedown with a string of endless thank-you’s.

We live because Jesus died.

Even as I write this – my goodness – my heart is brimming with thanksgiving and adoration.  The great love of Jesus Christ!  It has saved me from darkness, shame, and my sin.  I am free today and for all my tomorrows, and Heaven is my ultimate home.

But I ramble.

Brothers and sisters, let us never stray too far away from the cross.  It is the power of God for us who are saved from darkness.  The work of Christ is so profound that we can study its importance every day until Kingdom come and still never fully fathom His wondrous love for us.

And truly, I hope you hear my heart in all this…  If you are reading this and you identify more with someone who worships self and your preferences and agenda, and you are finding that the result is emptiness and death inside.. please yield control to God.  It may well be a scary thought at first – but no length of a blog post could ever convey the richness of the friendship of Christ on the other side of that decision.  He is kind.  He will never leave you alone or shame you or remind you of past sins.  He is everything we could hope a good King to be, and more.

All my love,
Josh

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s