THE CROSS – What Does It Mean To YOU

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride
 
See from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown
 
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless Your name
 
Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing so divine
Demands my soul my life my all

by Chris Tomlin, Contemporary Christian Music Artist

 

Why is such amazing love rejected by many?  Why do so many avoid acknowledging the Cross?

 Do You Believe?

crosses to bearWe’ve all heard the terms “we each have a cross to bear”, or “that’s our lot in life”.  We think that’s all there is…the hand we’ve been dealt and there is nothing we can do about it…NOT SO!

 

roman crucifictionsThe history of the cross goes back long before Christ came. But it was the Romans who used it on a massive scale to execute people. The victim was fastened to the cross by cords, or his hands were nailed, and he was left to die. Even with the heat of the sun, the pull of the body and the torture the victim had endured before being put on the cross, sometimes it took a week to die on a cross. It was one of the most terrible, painful ways to die.

cross necklaceBut Christians started to use the cross as a symbol of Christianity, representing the ultimate love Christ had for humanity. And every time the Gospel is proclaimed, those who hear the message and receive Christ as Saviour come to faith by way of the cross.  Taking up your cross, as a Christian means to choose to follow Christ and when we do we often face division and conflict, even within our own households.

~~Jesus Christ died on a rugged cross for our salvation. We do not worship that cross; we worship Christ, who is alive. Yet among all the emblems of the world, the cross is admired with awe and wonder.~~

 Break It Down 

wooden cross 2 - EditedFirst the width of the cross bar at the top.  It would represent the span of Christ’s love to the whole world.  His arms are wide spread in an invitation to come to Him.  He is ready to receive you no matter what your religion.  It says “I Love You”.

wooden cross 2 - Edited (1)Then there is the length of the cross.  It has no measure.  It extends from eternity past to eternity future.  It existed before the foundation of the world and will exist after this world’s end.  You can take a piece of lumber and measure it before cutting to make sure it is the right size, but you can’t measure God’s love for us on the cross.

The depth or thickness of the cross reminds us that God’s love addresses the deepest needs of the human heart. You can fall into the pit of sin and degradation. You can live like an animal. You can be a murderer, a rapist. But you can’t get beyond the love of God. It’s depth covers everything, right to the doors of hell.  We can never understand the depths of this wonder God laid on Jesus ~~ your sins and mine.

wooden cross 2The height of the cross. It extends to the throne of God. It doesn’t matter how high Heaven is. Through the cross, God draws all people to Himself. But you have to make the decision about Jesus. It can draw every sinner up to the exalted height of Heaven.  Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32.  Jesus came down from heaven to us to lift us up to His level, because no one can climb up to His.

crown and nailsThink of the cross for a moment. Think of Christ’s suffering for you and for me. It’s said that Jesus endured five kinds of wounds: Concussion, when they beat Him on the head; laceration, when they bared His back, took long leather whips with steel pellets on the end and beat Him until He was bleeding from head to toe; penetration, when they crushed that crown of thorns on His brow; perforation, when they drove the nails through His hands and feet; and incision, when they put the spear in His side.

Think of Christ’s suffering for you.

longsuffering 1Those nails through His hands and feet were driven by you and me and all the peoples of the world. We all had a part in the death of Christ because of our sins. Our sins put Him on the cross.

“For He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us.” 2 Corinthians 5:21.  That means that Jesus had never known sin, never told a lie, never had an evil thought, never had any greed or lust. But all of the filth and dirt from your life and my life descended on Him. None of us will ever understand the mystery of that moment. It was God’s great love for each of us that allowed His Son to take that suffering.

the thief 2Jesus was on the cross for six hours between two thieves Luke 23:39-44. They both deserved to die, according to Roman law. But one of the thieves looked at Jesus, and he saw that Jesus was different.  Then he turned to Jesus and said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom”. Luke 23:42-43  What an act of faith! That thief will be in Heaven.  Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”  Jesus forgave him by His death on the cross.

It is finished 1 - EditedYou and I have sinned against God. We have broken His laws. God told Adam that if he broke God’s law, he would surely die. “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17  But Adam and Eve broke His law. They sinned. We have all deliberately rebelled against God.  We either have to die for our own sins, or somebody who was qualified had to die for us. That Person who qualified was Jesus Christ, and He volunteered to do it. He died in our place. People will do almost anything to get rid of their guilt. The place to get rid of guilt is at the cross. Jesus came to die. On the cross He said, “It is finished! And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:30  Jesus had completed everything he came to earth to do.

confusion 1A lot of us are lost, confused, without purpose or meaning in life, without assurance of a future life. But from the cross Jesus reached out by His death and rescued us.

Jesus could have fed and healed everybody.  He had the power to do that.  But His real work was the cross; there He was dealing with eternity.  Where will you spend eternity? Heaven or hell? That will be decided by what you do about the cross.  

Do You Believe?

The forgiveness and the mercy of God are so far beyond our comprehension that we can hardly even talk about them.  But by looking at the cross we can Believe!

meet at the foot of the cross
All your anxiety, all your care,
Take it to the foot of the cross
and
Leave it there.

 

DO YOU BELIEVE ?