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April 17, 2013

Text: “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

Every day every Christian should contemplate the cross. The cross is a powerful symbol of righteousness that should inspire and encourage us daily. It is a token of God’s love  for us, reminding us of how God offered His son for the atonement of our sins. It is an encouragement for our hope of the resurrection. It is a deterrence from sin.

First consider the preparation God made for the cross. Ephesians 1:4 mentions that God “chose us in him before the foundation of the world…”  That is, that God chose that there be a body of saved people, the church, to be blessed with eternal life. Speaking of the gospel, Paul further mentions the priority of the plan of salvation before the formation of the world. “But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages of our glory.” I Corinthians 2:7 (ESV, cf. ASV)  Think of of the people that God used to bring to reality his plan: Noah, Abraham, the patriarchs, David, the prophets, John the Baptist, etc. remember the foundational  events that God generated to complete his programme: the Exodus, the conquest of Canaan by Israel, the Babylonian Captivity, the return after the captivity, the virgin birth of Jesus, et. al. Millenniums in the making was God’s plan to save us. Paul cites all this as the “great love with which he loved us”. Ephesians 2:4  Thank God for his providence!

Now consider the person on the cross. Jesus is deity, God’s Son, God in human flesh. The  apostle Paul wrote of Jesus thus in Romans 1:4: “…(he) was declared to be the the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  This exalted person lowered himself from creator to creature to accomplish God’s eternal plan. “…made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself  by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:7 In both his divine and human form he became our sin bearer. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” II Corinthians 5:21  Praise God for freedom from sin!

Finally, consider the motivation of the cross for the Christian. The impact of the cross on the life of a saved person  should be powerful, life changing, propelling. Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 Yes, Paul spoke of a new lease on life.  Do not let discouragement, ennui, laziness, or any other obstacle keep you from spending your every energy on his behalf. For all of what he has done, be a dynamo in his behalf.

Keep your eyes on the cross.

  1. This is a very good explanation of the preperation for Christ’ coming into the world. Many do not have any idea, that God was planning all this before He even made the world.

    • Thank you. Mary. However, my little blurb doesn’t even begin to tell the story. The entire OT is the preface to the life and death of Jesus. Sooooooo, much background to the events of the gospels. Unfortunately, so many people either will not read it, or will fail to put the pieces together. I wish I had several more years and the health to teach people how to get a handle on it.

      Love ya’ll,

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