The power of the Cross is the divine enablement that we need to live a humble and fruitful life. Several years ago when I was writing our first book, Longing for Eden, I felt the Lord share this with me: “The brightest spot in a marriage is in the shadow of the Cross.” Every marriage is in continual need of divine arbitration, Holy Spirit acting as the arbiter, the go-between, and it seems to me that he convenes every meeting in the same location – on Golgotha’s hill.Every marriage is in continual need of divine arbitration, Holy Spirit acting as the arbiter, the go-between, and it seems to me that he convenes every meeting in the same location - on Golgotha’s hill. Click To Tweet
Naturally, this is not only a marital issue but a life issue. Suffice to say, that I even need arbitration within myself as there are often opposing forces within, vying for their point of view. “I feel like I’m going crazy inside” is a common description I often hear. Or, “My thoughts and emotions are overwhelming me and I can’t seem to stabilize.” No wonder, as my own press releases on how my life is going, vary from day to day. It’s a jungle in there!
I have found the Cross, again and again, to be a leveling place in my life, bringing balance and harmony. Have you ever used a copy machine that collates what you feed into it. That’s what I’m trying to say. I pour out my soul, dark and light alike, surrendering myself unsorted. On the front end, it seems darker because I’ve vacated my hiding places and let go of fleshly coping skills long enough to get the whole mess out into plain sight. It was darker for our beloved Christ as well, emerging forward from the decision chamber of Gethsemane.
He was crucified at nine in the morning, the sinless Lamb of God, with a thief on either side, one of whom would rightly interpret the dark times and the other who would succumb to his own depravity. Then the suffering intensified, a manifest darkness enveloped the world. “At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”(which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Mk. 15:33-34 Rest assured, when you feel this way, you are in good company.
“While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him. Though he was God’s Son, he learned trusting-obedience by what he suffered, just as we do. Then, having arrived at the full stature of his maturity and having been announced by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who believingly obey him.” Heb. 5:7-10 (MSG) At the cross – understanding is not required, but obedience is.
A new stature of maturity is what everyone is looking for, isn’t it? Parents expect this from their children as they grow; husbands and wives anticipate it to increase over the years; friends and family need what the “renewed you” has to offer; and last but not least, we expect a higher caliber of excellence without our very selves. This is the wellspring of staying invested and interested in your Christian journey. Arriving at destinations heightens your spiritual senses, strengthening your resolve to keep moving forward.
It began at nine, grew darker at Noon, and culminated at three. “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!’” Mk. 15:38-39 Two things I have repeatedly discovered, in the post-Calvary, “Thank God I survived”, seasons. First, I realize a greater access into the heart of God. “Wait, there was a curtain, something blocking before, and now it’s gone!” And second, I find a fresh activation of faith, agreeing with God’s Word, and like hand-in-glove, saying, “Surely, his Word is true for me and I am going to believe what it says!” Declarations, seemingly out of my reach before, become newly acquired beliefs, solid enough to build upon for the next launch.
One more glimpse here, as Matthew’s Gospel adds a bit more to the story. “At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘Surely he was the Son of God!’” The power of the Cross is resurrection power. Skeletons in my closet, secret places of shame and reproach that I’ve labored so hard to conceal, are brought up from the grave, to live as trophies of God’s grace.The power of the Cross is resurrection power. Skeletons in my closet, secret places of shame and reproach that I’ve labored so hard to conceal, are brought up from the grave, to live as trophies of God’s grace. Click To Tweet
God has many surprises in store doesn’t he? 1 Cor. 2:9 If we could maintain a predictable, orderly spiritual growth plan for our lives, we would probably fall prey to boredom, because we were engineered for adventure and mystery. So we travel bewildered at times, but in the end we will stand in awe, effusing with thanks, for the privilege of walking in the footsteps of Christ.