“So as you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” (Colossians 2:6)
During the Dark Ages most sermons focused on God’s wrath and man’s depravity. This preaching was supplemented with a gospel of works. The popes and priest put awful burdens on the people, causing them to develop a various religious actions to find peace for their soul. Many would travel miles to some stone shrine, give long prayers, while counting prayer beads. Yet with all of this self-effort, they still had emptiness in their heart, and once again peace and forgiveness eluded them. They were still in darkness.
How could a religion whose emphasis was Jesus dying on the cross miss the true message of the cross? If they had only known that the cross was more than an instrument of death, it was also their key to forgiveness, peace and rest for the soul.
In like manner, modern day believers bear a similarity to those saints in the dark ages. Many Christians today still do not understand what Jesus did for us on the cross. The implications of the cross are many. For instance, many do not yet understand that the basis for victorious living is the cross of Christ. On the cross Jesus died to save us from our sinful nature. But when he rose from the dead He rose that we might be righteous, holy and acceptable to God. Christ’s righteousness was imputed to us. We can’t earn it, it is a free gift. No amount of good works will earn us the status of “righteous”, only the imputed righteousness of the righteous one can make us truly righteous.
At salvation we were placed into Christ and Christ was placed into us. (John 17) What does that mean for us? It means victorious living is available to us through the living Christ within us. Because we are “in Christ” we have fellowship with the Heavenly Father. We are accepted by the Father because we are in the Son. Because of the cross we are accepted by the Father. God never accepts us because of our good works but he accepts us because we are in the Son and the Son is in us. To reject us would be to reject the Son.
So the next time you feel rejected by society, embrace the cross. Remember that you always have God’s acceptance, even if the whole world turns on you. He accepts you because He purchased you on the Cross, and He accepts you because you are in Christ and He would never reject Christ.
Christian singer Steve Green sings a song entitled, “Embrace the Cross”. Below are a few words from the song.
Oh, wondrous cross our desires rest in you
Lord Jesus make us bolder
To face with courage the shame and disgrace
You bore upon Your shoulder
Embrace the life
That comes from dying
Come trace the steps
The Savior walked for you
An empty tomb
Concludes Golgotha’s sorrow
Endure then till tomorrow
Your cross of suffering
Embrace the cross
Embrace the cross
The cross of Jesus