Sunday April 3, 2005
Confronting The Cross
God is looking to us to see if the Cross of Christ is imprinted on our hearts and lives. The early Christians clung to the image of the Cross because it helped them remember Jesus. They did not see Him as still hanging on the cross, but viewed it as a symbol of God’s eternal love and forgiveness.
George Bennard’s hymn "The Old Rugged Cross" exemplifies this: "On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suff’ring and shame; and I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain. So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown."
The Cross was not the end or the final word on the state of mankind. It was a necessary step that had to be taken by Jesus before God’s salvation could be fully realized by all who would come to love and worship Him.
Early Christians came to understand that not only was the Cross a place where Jesus suffered and died, it was a symbol of their need to lay aside pride and anything that separated them from the love of God.
It is the same for us today. When we take up the Cross of Christ, we crucify all that we are apart from Jesus. We live for Him and Him alone. This is our glory, and the empty cross represents our crucified life.
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