It was the late Myles Munroe who said when the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable. The abuse of anything is the resultant effect of ignorance as touching that thing. The cross is one of the most abused allegories when it comes to religious worship, this is because there is so much ignorance as to what the cross actually represents. To some, the cross is just a symbol that differentiates one religious sect from another. Some see it as an instrument for prayer and hence they engrave the Jesus of their minds on it and render worship to it without any feeling of gilt to this ugly and blasphemous rendition of the cross. There are believers who wear a symbol of the cross around their necks as a means of protection, some even use it for outfits that show they’ve attained a religious positional hierarchy through systematic promotion or human defined ordination. Beloved, whatever we make of the cross is the reflection of how much we know. To swim in the ocean of ignorance is to tread the path of darkness in error Hosea 4:6- My God wants us to be equipped with the right knowledge when it comes to our dealings with him. If God’s own people can face the consequences of His rejection (Destruction) because they lack the right knowledge, it therefore means God does not joke with ignorance. When a people who know how God heavily detest idol worship still bow their knees before graven images in the name of the Lord, then God must not be questioned when His wrath beclouds them like the sons of bellial,. The cross is not a tool for idol worship but a revelation of God’s glory and power. Jesus is no longer on the cross, He is risen and glorified.
I Corinthians 1:18- For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish,
- The unveiling of God’s power I Cor.1:17-19
2. The cross is the embodiment of sin and it’s wages, Romans 6:23, Romans 8:2.
3. The cross is the revelation of God’s saving grace. Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 2:11
4.The cross is the condemnation of the powers that govern the flesh. Romans 8:10
5. The cross encapsulates the finished works of Christ. John 19:30, Hebrews 4:10-11
It’s important to know that the cross is not a means to the luxuries of life but a burden for everyone who has been called into the fate of our Lord Jesus Christ. Being called into His fate is not a call to symposium but a regimental acquaintance with His sufferings, death, resurrection and then the glory, Phil.3:9-12. It’s quite remarkable what we see when we come to Jesus. For many all there is, is the glory and they pay blind eyes to the path that leads there because of it’s rugged nature. No one wants to walk the path of turbulence, cahos, shame and reproach but our Lord and saviour treaded those paths. He tells us in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth and the life. This simply means there are no other paths capable of leading us to the glory that is ahead, every other path that might seem attractive are the ways of death Prov.14:12.
I am writing this so you can make up your mind if this is the Jesus you want to follow or like John the baptist, will you seek another? Everyone that ever followed Him had a fair share of His sufferings and we are not excluded. This is not a fairytale but the reality of the life we have been called to live.
Jesus is no longer on the cross and He is not going back there. We are the ones who have been advised to carry our cross and follow after his faith and fate. Crucifixion is the ultimate purpose of this cross, the question is: are you willing to lose your life? Whosoever loses his life for the sake of the master will find it.ENCOUNTERS OF THE CROSS.
- THE PRESS AND THE WILL
Matthew 26:39- ut as thou wilt.
This happened in Gethsemane (The Olive press) just some hours before the crucifixion. It was at this point that Jesus came face to face with the cost of His course on earth, and facing it was a huge task. This was the only time he thought of his own will.
There are times in the life of a believer, when he comes face to face with the pressures of life, the persecutions, tribulations, denials and betrayals. Standing firm in the faith at such times is difficult. Many got here and lost their faith because they just could not stand the times. This is what the press represent. It represents very hard times when the efficacy of our believe in God is tested, many times its as though the fire has consumed us. This is a burden of the cross and at this point there is an interface and confrontation of two wills, “the will of God and the will of man”. Like Jesus we are expected to surrender our will and allow the will of God prevail. We must deny our self and our will for God to perform a perfect work through us. The essence of every challenge in the life of believers is for God’s glory to be revealed at the end when everything lost becomes gain.
- THE SHAME AND THE GLORY
Hebrews 12:2- at the right hand of the throne of God.
The cross is an embodiment of humiliation and the shame is an indication of the glory ahead. No one can come face to face with the glory of God without a story of shame and ridicule. There’s always the wilderness phase, the point when it seem as if we are wasting time waiting on the Lord. This is the point where people will come face to face with you just to mock and humiliate you. If Jesus went through it, we all must go through it. Beloved don’t feel rejected or cursed, there is a purpose for the shame of these times. Like Jesus we must endure the shame and allow patience have a perfect work in us, James 1:2-4.
Romans 8:18- For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
There is a glory to be revealed through you and when it comes the pain of shame will be totally forgotten and erased.
- THE UNLOCKING OF THE BOUNDARIES OF LOVE
John 15:13- Gr
Love is the most used and abused term in the English dictionary. It’s worthy of note that believers are more guilty of the abuse of this term. This is so because Christ gave himself as the standard for the definition of Love. Never in the history of man has anyone given his life for another. Until the cross, love was a thing of mutual correspondence, ” you give me love, I give you love, you give me hate, I give you hate” this is the law of “an eye for an eye”. Thank God for Christ who by the cross made love a thing of divine revelation. This love is a love without conditions, it does not demand reciprocation, it is void of complains, revenge, and retaliation. While on the cross Jesus still prayed for His killers before He yielded up the ghost and the man Stephen repeated the same thing, Acts 7. This is a huge task for us all and we must not fail our Lord and Saviour.
- THE STING OF DEATH AND THE DISCOVERY OF ABUNDANT LIFE
Matthew 16:25- For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
The cross is the place of death. Our flesh, our dreams, our ambition, our ego, our fame, our name and everything that ties us to this world dies on the cross, and Christ is all we are left with. We come bodily to the cross to be crucified. Our sins, gilts, grieve, habits and everything in this world our character was modelled after are nailed to the cross and Christ becomes our lifestyle. The cross eliminates our fear for physical death and infuses us with the radical zeal of the Gospel.
Hebrews 2:14-15: F life time subject to bondage.
Never in the history of humanity did a man ever encountered abundant life. What the world enjoyed as abundant life was in luxuries and accumulation of wealth. However Christ opened our eyes into the mystery of abundant life when he died on the cross. Abundant life is a life without measures. Prior to the cross a man’s life was quantified by the abundance of things he possesses and therefore by any means men tried to acquire as much as they could even if they will have to kill for it, but he cross gave every humanity the privilege to access abundance that lasts through eternity without labour. 2Corinthians 4:18- While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are.
There’s so much in stock for believers, we must take our eyes off those things that are temporal, they are distractions.
- THE BIRTH OF THE CHURCH AND IT’S DEMAND FOR FRUITFULNESS
Ephesians 5:25-26: by the word.
If you look closely into Genesis 2:21-22 and then compare with John 19:34 you will realise that when God caused a deep sleep on Adam and formed the woman by taking a rib from his side, it was a replical of when Christ died on the cross and his side was pierced by one of the soldiers hence the birth of the church. Also the commandment that was given to the man and the women by the almighty to be fruitful and multiply is a replical to God’s intention for the church as stated in the gospel of John 15:1-8. If the church will be fruitful she must align herself to the vine and allow a flow of all it takes to attain fruitfulness from the vine. This means there is no fruitfulness without Christ and the mystery behind the fruitfulness of the church is the presence of the HolySpirit. Luke 1:35- ”.
Bearing fruit is in two dimensions and these dimensions are in total dependence on the person and workings of the HolySpirit.
The outworking of the fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer, Gal.5:22-24. We are expected to be the express image of the Christ. This can only be possible when the fruit of the Spirit is made manifest through us. The minute we put away ungodliness and wear up godliness our old nature starts to ware out so that godly character can be enhanced by the Spirit. However, it might take a while before we see a full expression of this new nature but we must be consistent with the word and allow the Spirit transform us from inside out.
The reproduction of sons unto God. This is the saving of the unsaved and bringing of men into the kingdom were they are not afraid to call God their father and God is not ashamed to call them sons. It takes the working of the Spirit to convict a heart unto repentance and convert the soul unto God.
In Conclusion, the burden of the cross is a clear indication that the life of a believer is one of total kingdom radicalism.