“The Cross of Christ”

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Next to the personhood of our Lord Jesus Christ, there’s no other topic in Scripture as important to all who read its pages, as Christ’s atoning work on the cross.

The apostle Paul expressed this so clearly when he said, “For I determined to know nothing among you, except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Therefore, the priority of our study of Scripture, must first be to come face to face with the sinless Son of Man (Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 4:15, “...yet, without sin.”). However, this pristine portrait of “...our great God and Savior” (Titus 2:10,13; 3:6), should not be all that catches our eyes about Him. Oh yes, we must move often from our affectionate gaze upon His person to His sacrificial death on our behalf (in perfect obedience to His Father’s all-wise plan: Acts 2:23; Philippians 2:8), and then back again. And then, back and forth again and again! And with each rotation growing more and more in love with Him, until we are before Him in glory (Revelation 22:3-4)! But as we grow more and more like Christ we will often find ourselves mining even more so, the depths of Christ’s work for us upon that old Roman cross. This is where we must pause often with amazement, and stand as Christian did (in the famous old book “The Pilgrim’s Progress”), affirming John Bunyan’s words, “...it was very surprising to him that the sight of the cross should thus ease him of his burden. He looked, therefore, and looked again, even till the springs that were in his head sent waters down his cheeks.” Oh people of God, do you often gaze upon the cross? When was the last time you meditated upon the texts of Scripture which speak of the cross-work of your Lord and Savior? Allow me to encourage you with just a sampling of them: 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God”; Galatians 6:14, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”; And, Hebrews 12:2, “...fixing our eyes on Jesus, ... who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Is it any wonder why, John Paton, the great 19th century missionary to the cannibals of the South Seas, described himself as, “A Missionary of the Cross”? O dear reader, may we choose to follow John Paton’s example, our Lord’s example, and especially our Lord’s command to us all: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). 

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