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 word – Galatians 6:14 NIV.
In our day the cross has become a piece of jewelry. It is something attractive that people identify with. A polite person would not even mention the cross in public. It would be like our talking about the gallows or the gas chamber or the electric chair. Nailing someone to a cross was the worst form of execution in Paul’s day.
But Paul glorified in the cross, and no doubt that was one of the secrets of the effectiveness of his life and ministry. What are you glorifying in today? The test of a person’s spiritual life is how he responds to the cross of Jesus Christ. We have lost the true meaning of the cross. In many parts of the world, it is easy to become a Christian. You simply raise your hand or walk down an aisle. Nothing is wrong with doing this if it signifies a genuine commitment to Christ. But too often people want the blessings and benefits of Christianity without any dedication to Christ. Those of us who know little or nothing about persecution for Christ’s sake have often made the cross something cheap. We haven’t paid the price early believers did for their faith. In Paul’s day if you identified yourself with the cross, you knew you should be prepared for rejection, suffering and even death!
Do You Know the Person of the Cross?
We need to examine the true meaning of the cross. We should ask ourselves three very important questions to discover our relationship to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first question is Do I Know the Person of the cross? The cross itself would be meaningless apart from Jesus Christ. It was just a piece of wood; what Christ accomplished on the cross changed that wood into a symbol and gave it meaning for us. Only the death of Jesus Christ has affected the world. Christ, the carpenter, transformed the cross, which was a symbol of suffering, death and defeat, into a symbol of glory and victory.
When you consider who Christ is, it should stir your heart. Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Gala. 6:14, that means He is God. Back in Paul’s day people would say, “Caesar is Lord, but the Christians say, “Jesus is Lord.” But only Christ has rightful claim to the name Lord.” This name focuses on Christ’s authority. Since He is God, this means God died on a cross for us. No human being could have died in our place.
Second, He is called: Jesus, which means Savior. The angel told Joseph before Christ’s birth, “Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people form their sins” – Matt. 1:21. Jesus is the Geek equivalent of the Hebrew name “Joshua,” which means “Jehovah is salvation.” This name focuses on Christ’s humanity – that God became man in order to die for our sins. Third, He is the Christ. This name is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word “Messiah”, which means “anointed one.” In the Old Testament, prophets, priest and kings were anointed, and Jesus Christ is our prophet, priest and king. He is our prophet because He is the Word of God – God’s last word to mankind. He is our priest because He is interceding for us in heaven. He is also reigning on the throne, which makes Him our king. One day He will return to this earth and reign supremely.
In order for the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Savior, He had to die. Peter did not understand that. When Christ first revealed to His disciples that He was going to die, Peter took Him aside and reprimanded him. “Pity yourself, Lord,” he said, “this shall not happen to Him – deliberately, voluntarily and providentially. The death of Christ on the cross was not an accident; it was an appointment. The Father had appointed the Son to die on the cross, and the Son willingly gave His life.
Many people say wonderful things about the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet when asked about His crucifixion, they don’t want to hear about it neither about the blood or the cross in their hymnal. Why? They have rejected the cross. Yet throughout the Word of God we see great emphasis on the death of Jesus Christ. The entire sacrificial system of Old Testament times pointed to the death of Christ. In Genesis 22:7 Isaac asked his father, Abraham where the lamb for the sacrifice was. Abraham replied, “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering – vs 8. Hundreds of years later, John the Baptist affirmed, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world – John 1:29.
You will notice that in Galatians 6:14 doesn’t say the Lord Jesus Christ; it say’s our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to make our relationship to Christ personal. Can you say, “He is my Lord Jesus Christ”? Can you say with Mary, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour? – Luke 1:46, 47. Do you know the Person of the cross? If you do, you will glory in the cross.
Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence. – Proverbs 4:14-17
Come and be spiritually uplifted as we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ at this year’s Meditations on Easter on Saturday 24th March, 2018, 8.30 am at Sunlodge Hotel under the theme “HE IS ALIVE! JESUS IS ALIVE”
Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and Uniiq 95.7 Fm – Saturdays 7:30 pm; for our Radio Bible Study as well as Sunny FM 88.7 FM every Sunday at 3:30 pm. for Hymns and their Stories.