In the shadow of the cross
From the day that Jesus was born, He lived “in the shadow of the cross.” The cross was never absent from His mind, it was never far from His soul, it was never out of His heart. Jesus came into this world to die on the cross to pay our sin debt. In doctrinal terms, we would say that He is the propitiation for our sins. The sin debt that we could not pay, He paid it. And thank God that He did.
The Bible says that “If we confess Jesus as Lord and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, we shall be saved. For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-10;13) Now, if Jesus lived every day of His life in the shadow of the cross, I wonder what our life would look like if we did also? First, if we lived in the shadow of the cross, we would live a life of praise.
Many people were disappointed about the results of this week’s election. But it doesn’t matter if a Republican or a Democrat or anyone else is in the White House for the next four years. All that matters is that Jesus is Lord and God is on His throne and He is in control of everything that is happening in our world today. Now…that is something you can be happy about. Praise God that He is on His throne and that He is in control! Praise God for your salvation. Praise God for each new day. Live a life of praise and be thankful for what you have.
Also, if we live in the shadow of the cross, our lives will have a purpose. God’s purpose for His Son, Jesus, was a perfect sacrifice for man’s sin. Jesus lived a perfect life, died a substitutionary death and paid our sin debt. That was God’s purpose for His life before the foundation of the world. Now…if God had a purpose for His Son, don’t you think He has a purpose for your life? He does, and we need to know it and then live our lives with purpose.
If we are living in the shadow of the cross, we will live a life of power. Jesus tells us, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” What that means is, the same power that resurrected Jesus from the grave, is available to us to live a victorious life. No longer do we need to be “under the circumstances.” We have the power of God living in us because “greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world.”
You don’t have to be “under the circumstances” any longer in your life…God wants you to live victoriously. And one last thing, if we are living in the shadow of the cross, we will live a life of passion. We are passionate about a number of things this world has to offer — things like sports, entertainment, recreation, our job, our family, cars, homes, etc. But all of these things are temporary. One day, we will leave them all behind and go out into eternity. The one thing we need to be passionate about is God.
Could I encourage you to get involved in church? To dedicate your life to Kingdom work through your church? To put God first in your life and then let others know about Him?
I’d also like to challenge you to live your life “in the shadow of the cross.” And that is…”Something to Think About” for this week. Remember, God loves you just like you are, but He loves you too much to leave you like that.”
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at (740) 852-7800, e-mail him at email@example.com or at their website www.3c-church.org.