Lent – Day 32 – When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8
“…having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Colossians 2:14
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
For every believer the cross of Christ is a sacred symbol of the defining act of love that made salvation possible for every sinner to be saved. It is a reminder of the supreme sacrifice in agony and pain, in suffering and in death that Jesus bore fully and completely out of love for us. It is the ultimate sacrifice of the Father, God, Creator of all things, to redeem fallen, broken, unworthy humanity from death, hell and the grave.
The cross of Christ is our bridge to the heart of God, our pathway to eternal life. There is no other way.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
The cross of Christ is exclusive. It is not away to God. It is the onlyway to God. There had to be an all-atoning sacrifice, and that sacrifice had to be pure and free from sin. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God was that exclusive sacrifice.
To suggest or claim that there are many pathways to God is to make a mockery of the amazing grace of God that gave Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to take upon Himself the sins of the world so that we could be free.
Our faith begins with the acknowledgement that Christ alone, died for our sins and we were crucified with Him, and as He was raised from the dead we have now been raised up together with Him. The glory of the cross is, we are now made alive in Christ and we now live by His faith. His act of love took away our sin and guilt and bought life for us, life more abundantly.
As we think about the cross and remind ourselves of the profound gift Jesus gave to us with His life, the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches melt away in the face of His love for us. Though some have arrogantly dismissed this unparalleled act of love as mere myth, the Word of God stands true and unchanged— that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, was raised on the third day and is alive now forevermore.
The cross is wondrous because it embodies the message of God’s immeasurable love for us in ways that no act of human agency alone could ever do.
This simple symbol of faith to every believer is a continual reminder that we have value, that our lives have meaning and eternal significance to God, that we are not alone, but we are the people of the Most High God, and by the stripes of our Lord Jesus Christ we are now healed, that we are saved by His Grace through faith in Him, that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, that we are new creations in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away and all things are become new, and all things are of God.
Now, we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, we are a peculiar people, we are the body of Christ, we are the Church, blood-bought and redeemed by His blood. We are now the sons of God and when we see Him we shall be like Him. The message of the Cross assures us that we are accepted in the beloved, that we are the people of God, that we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, that through Jesus Christ we are more than conquerors, that our lives are not our own, that we have been bought with a price. And that price is the greatest price ever paid in all creation.
“Oh the wonderful cross, bids me come and die and find that I may truly live.”
from “The Wonderful Cross” words and music by Christ Tomlin & Matt Redman
In Jesus Christ by way of the cross in the power of the Holy Spirit, we have life eternal now and in the ages to come to live in the immeasurable, unconquerable, uncontainable, immutable, unfathomable, inexhaustible, all-glorious, incomparable, all-supreme, all-wondrous and ever increasing love of God, our Father in Heaven.
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21