Friday, February 17, 2012

The Lesson of the Cross

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Why do good people have to suffer? What was Adam's and Eve's sin in Eden? What did Jesus give up when he became our Savior? And, why did He have to die? These are questions we can't answer in this short message, but we can note that the answers are important to understand if we are to have a happy life following Jesus.

The reason He died? People murdered Him! And they included you and me. "Were you there when they crucified my Lord?" The answer is yes. Why did He allow humans to murder Him? No other way could they understand the depth of their sin and rebellion against God, but to let them do it. And only through the cross could they be "drawn" to repentance and reconciliation with God (John 12:31, 32).

Yes, He died as our Substitute to satisfy the legal claims of the broken law; but unless your heart appreciates what it cost Him to save you, unless you identify with Him, unless you are "crucified with Christ," your heart remains alienated and cold.

And what did He give up for us? Philippians 2:5-9 answers: it cost Him everything, and that includes the reality of His surrendering Himself to die our second death. He "poured out His soul unto death" (Isa. 53:12) like you empty a watering can to the last drop. You will never be the same after you realize what that last drop meant.

Faith becomes the white-hot heat of a welding process that welds your heart to Him forever; thus we become "one" with Him like two pieces of steel welded.

Adam and Eve's sin was far deeper than reaching for a delicious dessert. They chose to dis-believe God, the active voice of the verb for which the noun is "unbelief." They chose alienation from God--the very problem Jesus came to solve by the sacrifice of Himself. For us now to learn to trust God involves for us to take up our cross on which self is crucified--with Christ. The reason? Up to the point where we join Him on His cross in sacrificing even our hope for immortality, there will remain deep within us a residual layer of doubt that will manifest itself openly in the final test of the mark of the beast. Now is a good time for us to learn well the lesson of the cross.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 23, 1999.
Copyright © 2012 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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