Thursday, March 12, 2015

Look for the Cross

Lately I've been increasingly aware of old long-standing lies that are competing for space in my heart with precious Biblical truths that I've also long believed. When the lies get loud enough, I find myself having to ask, what is it I'm going to believe? What am I going to accept as the truth in my life?

When this battle gets fierce -- and I know it is when the lies get loud enough to feel extremely convincing -- there's only one way to be sure of what the truth is: Look for the cross. That's because the cross marks the spot where God showed us the truth about Himself and about His relationship with us. You want to know God who God is? Do you want to know what He thinks of you? Look for the cross. Look at Jesus on the cross: the Lamb of who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)!

Jesus is the "exact representation" of God's nature (Hebrews 1:3), and that is why He could confidently say of Himself, "I am the truth" (John 14:6). Jesus is where we find the truth, and Jesus on the cross is the greatest expression of the truth Jesus came to reveal. The Apostle John described Jesus' coming by writing, "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). The glory John saw is the same glory Moses was given the privilege of seeing when He asked God, "Please, show me Your glory!" (Exodus 33:18). And when God's glory passed by Moses, the declaration Moses heard was, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6)!

There it is again: Truth, mingled with mercy and grace -- which is the very same glory that Jesus expressed on the cross. The cross is the most profound picture of God's mercy and compassion that the world will ever see. In His perfect representation of God, Jesus took what was privately revealed on a mountaintop to make it a public proclamation on a humble hill outside Jerusalem. God's Truth, the incarnate Word of God, hung on the cross to express the truth of who He really is and of what He really thinks of us. 

We hear from that cross the forgiveness that each one of us needs to hear as Jesus even forgave those who put Him there (Luke 23:34). We sense the assurance of His love as He says to the thief who acknowledges Jesus' Lordship in his final hours of life, "Today you shall be with Me in Paradise" (Luke 23:43). And we rejoice in the finality of what He accomplished for us, leaving nothing for us to do to earn the love His sacrifice expressed, as he shouted, "It is finished!" (John 19:30). That is the truth I choose to embrace. And the cross marks the spot where that truth was most emphatically declared.

© 2015 by Ken Peters


Karl Neufeld said...

So true! The truth of God's love as demonstrated on the cross releases us from the prison of our past: we're translated from darkness to light, from hopelessness to anticipation for what each new day will bring, and from being paralyzed to set free to do and express and accomplish all that he wants to do through us.

Ken said...

So true Karl. All good reasons to continually look for the cross so as to remind ourselves of all Jesus accomplished there!