Popular among Christians is a miniature depiction of our Lord, the Christ hanging on the Cross. Naturally, the idea behind it is to portray ourselves and to boldly state the fact that we are Christians. The down side of this is that the Cross is sterile. It is prophylactic and devoid of the sweat, blood or anything else our Lord had to endure in order to conquer death which was the ultimate point in dying on the cross.
Indicative as well, is that the cross now aw it was then, represents how we have always been. Conveniently, at Calvary, it was Christ alone who died alone for our sins. Truly, there was nothing sterile or prophylactic about this trail. Christ’s suffering was far beyond our own personal trails, yet still we find ourselves separated from the cross.
The close disciples studied and anguished their master from afar while near the skull, or known as Golgotha. They were away, afraid but safe from execution, yet hailed their friend in personal grief.
We are the same today. Our Lord is hanging on a cross and we are far below, separate and safe from the sorrows of the world. We leave the glorious story at the cross when really; the greatest story is more than the cross. The story really centers on the events following the death at the cross and on the miracle of the resurrection!
The resurrection, among other things, means that life is offered in place of death. It means that cute cross hung around our neck only tend to separate us further from the real tasks of permitting our Lord to resurrect us in this life and to go on for the consequences of true resurrection means that we must be quickened in this existence into a greater calling of a spiritual existence.
A call to this duty also means that a witness is built as a result of our own subjection to obedience as a result of this resurrection. Once again, the message is that we are called into service.
In more personal terms, the cross is behind us. What matters more is our Christ that goes beyond. We are called into discipleship and called into greatness as Christ had prepared for us.
No more do we cling to the cross that we never accepted in the first place. No more do we plead with God, begging God to do things for us. Quite the reverse is true. Now is the time when God has prepared many, many tasks for us. And while all was done for us on the cross, the resurrection spelled out that “And greater things than these shall you do.” The mission, the onus is now on us.
Actually, the reasoning seems simple enough. Why do we over and over again ask God for things he has so freely already given us? Why do we ask God to change things when mostly we are the guilty party that cause the grievance or lack to begin with?
As promised from our Lord, we are members of his Kingdom, called and blessed as his ‘Sons of God.’ We are already consecrated as believers to inherit a kingdom that first begins in our lifetime on this earth.
We were not referred to as servants, but as friends as “A servant knoweth not what his master doeth.” No, we are full friends with full rights and responsibilities therein.
Examples of the types of miracles we can perform are astounding. We have the ability to transform beer into a sofa. We can change drugs into a rent payment or raise a wayward son or daughter from off the streets into a position of esteem. We can forgive and build and give and receive, all with the good grace of love.
This type of behavior is NOT natural. It is not the way of the world; instead, this is the way of God to tend to the matters of others as if it were our self. In our efforts, our concern for the life of others, we indeed glorify the resurrection of Christ as we live exceedingly as he taught us.
The solution is a simple one. It is easy to rest on our duffs, to sit back and point to the cross: easy to wear a cross around our neck and then battle life daily without real meaning. The promise to the Christian is a promise of life.
In counseling anyone with problems, my answer would be consistent: take the focus off our own personal crucifixions and focus instead on others and then most of our problems would disappear.
Our principle task should not be going to Christ as much as our real onus is bringing Christ to others vis-à-vis by the introduction and gifts from our own personalities. At that point, we no longer point to the cross as much as our own testimony testifies to the scars set by nails into our own hands, feet and soul.
Living the message of Christ means we endure joy, but as importantly, we also endure pain. We participate in the life and sorrows of our fellow man and so doing kill off our mortal nature slowly as we step ahead, day by day beyond the cross and even beyond the resurrection into the present world of today.
The actual death on the cross by our Lord occurred over 2,000 years ago. As Christians, our examples should not reflect back to days of old, but on days of new. We should be a direct threat to this world as we insist our ways are the Lord’s ways and the Lord’s ways are not the ways of the world.
Posit. Our first step is to climb now from the comforts of our own cross and endure the death that leads to the resurrection with Our lord. The second step involves living day to day as a child who has received the birthright as a child of God in good standing. The third step would be the never ending story of performing miracles by the presence of our own personalities.
Living the life as a Christian does not involve or at least does not require that we have the intellect of a rocket scientist. Any person hung up on a cross long enough should have enough sense to get down, to dust off the blood, guts and dust and eventually heal from the wounds of this world.
However, the healing cannot take place until we go through this rite of passage and come down. Once we endure the pain of getting over our mortal death we can proceed to enjoy the gift of life. And once we have the courage to look into the eyes of our brother, we can see God’s kingdom fully illuminated away from the cross, away from death and into the world among the living.