“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .”
On this side of heaven and glorification, even the born-again saint is prone to error (James 3:2). Often we reach wrong conclusions about things in our experience. This is because we naturally see things from our own perspective. It takes conscious effort sometimes to see things as God does, to set aside our own opinions and perspectives and to interpret the world through the “lens” of Holy Scripture. When we do that, we see that the cross of Christ colours literally everything. In our own understanding, we might see the world as a chaotic, meaningless mess. Through the cross we see the world as valuable to God and worthy of redemption (Colossians 1:20). In the Western world in particular, where we enjoy much affluence, comfort, and success, we are often drawn into arrogance and a sense of self-sufficiency. The cross is the great corrector here too. The cross reveals our previous sinful, hopeless, and godless condition before He rescued us with a saving knowledge of Himself (Ephesians 2:8-13). The cross effectively neutralizes and excludes all boasting and pride (Romans 3:27). In the face of hard trials, we may wonder, as the patriarch Job did, about the goodness and justice of God. The cross puts these questions to rest; it reveals the infinite love of God toward lost sinners (Romans 5:8) even towards those who were His enemies by wicked works in their minds (Colossians 1:21). Our scarred pasts and our current prevailing sins may cause us to feel irredeemable, as though our sinfulness is too great for even God to overcome. The cross reminds us that God’s attitude and perspective is different than ours. His infinite love is expressed in His saving posture to the world. “He died for all,” said the great apostle (2 Corinthians 5:15), and “tasted death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9). Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Romans 5:20). The cross humbles us without devastating us, it also elevates us without flattery. The cross of Christ reminds us that the Lord came into the world not only to save lost sinners, but to purchase to Himself a redeemed community, a household of faith (Galatians 6:10). The cross reminds us that no one entered this household on his own merits; each member of this household entered by way of the cross; each received the same grace extended to us. The cross reminds us not only of our own preciousness in the eyes of God, but the preciousness of our redeemed brothers and sisters as well. May we experience renewed love and appreciation not only for the Blessed Redeemer, but for His redeemed as well.
God bless, Pastor John