Were it not for Jesus willingly going to the cross, shedding His perfect blood for our sins, rising from the dead on the third day, and seen by over five hundred, we would be lost and headed for hell.
Unfortunately, the understanding of the cross in Jesus time and the understanding of the cross today are not the same. We have denigrated the cross to a meaningless piece of wood.
A. W. Tozer compares the cross of Jesus time and the cross of some of today’s church’s.
The cross of popular evangelicalism!
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
The cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament.
It is, rather–a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity.
The old cross slew men–the new cross entertains them.
The old cross humbled men–the new cross amuses them.
The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh–the new cross encourages it.
The old cross brought tears and blood–the new cross brings laughter.
The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross. Before that cross it bows, and toward that cross it points with carefully staged histrionics—but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of that cross, it stubbornly refuses to bear.
We must do something about the cross, and only one of two things we can do–flee from it, or die upon it.
The man who takes up the cross no longer controls his destiny–he lost control, when he picked up his cross. That cross immediately became to him an all-absorbing interest, an overwhelming passion. No matter what he may desire to do, there is but one thing he can do–that is, move on toward the place of crucifixion!
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!” Galatians 6:14
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Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001