The Cross of Christ: My New Identity

The cross is about identity. Who do I belong to?

When I accept that Jesus went to the cross for me, who I align my life to changes. Life is no longer about me, but about Jesus. I am choosing to identify with him. It means my lie doesn’t align to what I think is right but instead is aligned to all that Jesus wants for my life.

I am now found in Christ.

I am now the righteousness of Christ.

I am now not my own, I am bought with a price.

My performance is no longer based on what I can do, my works. Instead my performance is a result of believing that I am the righteous by faith. I live to honour Jesus, not through being sin-conscious and trying really hard to not mess up. I live to honour Jesus by recognising the benefits of being righteous-conscious.

In otherwords, when my life is connected with Jesus through His finished work at the cross, why would I want to sully that work by filling my life with anything short of Gods very best for me? Things that I think I deserve through my hard work, rather than things I don’t deserve yet I receive through Gods unmerited favour?

If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides? [Romans 5:17 The Message]

How does the cross of Christ influence you?

The Cross of Christ: A Divine Exchange

 Moments of reflection today. A packed house at Xcel to say thank you for the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ. The event that changes everything, forever, if we will let it. 
Jesus embraced the cross and in doing so, completed a divine exchange. God’s unmerited favour, that clothes us in His righteousness and makes us right with God. 

He became weak, so that we become strong. 

He took the judgement we deserved so we could go free. 

He was punished for our sin so that we can be forgiven. 

Through his wounds and the stripes on his back, we are healed. 

He was made sin so that we could become the righteousness of Christ. 

He died so that we might live.

He was made poor so that we could become rich, and live the abundant life he promised us.

Jesus understands us. He recognises our pain, loneliness, isolation, hurt, injustice. He went to the cross experiencing them all. He nailed His life to the cross for me, so now I nail my life to him and will live a life that honours that sacrifice, even when it’s hard. 

The Cross of Christ: Appreciate the Cost

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus felt the weight of what was awaiting him. Scripture describes that the burden caused him to sweat drops of blood.

And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground [Luke 22:44 ESV]

He was about to carry my sin. And the sin of everyone else too. My sin, the shame that goes with it, the hurt, the pain and the guilt. I can find that hard enough to carry as one person, what a weight to carry for all of humankind.  

Yet he did so willingly. 

Where I might back down from such responsibility, Jesus took up that burden and carried it, on purpose. 

Where I might only think of what’s comfortable for me or the thing which brings me most fulfilment, Jesus chose to do what would bring comfort and fulfilment to us. 

When I might only do what I will do, what I deem to be best for me, Jesus laid down his will and went with what his Heavenly Father was asking. 

Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done [Luke 22:42]

In response, especially as I have decide to follow Hin, my life must acknowledge the cost, the weight of the cross that Jesus carried, the means by which he set me free. 

He loved me and demonstrated that love with an overwhelming act. I reflect and ask a difficult question: Why am I so stubborn at times in holding on to things and behaviours that don’t demonstrate my love for Jesus but are more about a love for what I want and enjoy?

I am free because of Jesus. I am loved unconditionally by Jesus. My sins have been removed and are forgotten because of Jesus. 

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus [Romans 8:1]

Lord let my life reflect that freedom and be the best it can be for you. Amen. 

The Cross of Christ: Got Ready

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious saints [Eph 1:17-18]

At the cross we find true rest, we connect with a Saviour who, once we place our trust in Him, never leaves us. We begin the journey of knowing God.

At the cross we are made right. The only the way the gap in our soul can be filled is by being made right through the finished work of Jesus at the cross. We discover the joy of the freedom we have in Christ.

At the cross we are ‘got ready’ for the way that Jesus would have us to live. The Gospel is good news. In the same way that if you were hit by a bus there would be some evidence, the same should be true of the Gospel. If we let it, the cross can change us forever.

Jesus is our ultimate example of service, surrender and sacrifice, which means that if we are saying that we are now ‘in Christ’ that our life should include the same.

Forgive the unforgivable. 

Love the unloveable.

Serve beyond convenience.

Lay down your life.

Pick up your cross every day.

How do we respond to the cross? This is about recognising all that is ours because of the cross, how it positions us with all that we need to make a difference. We may never feel ready but through the cross of Jesus, we are.

The Cross of Christ: Be Made Right

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new [2 Corinthians 5:17]

It’s not about what you can do. It doesn’t matter on our background, education, where we were born, where we live, nothing can make a difference to the fact that at the cross of Jesus, all were made right. All the work has been done by Jesus, we just need to accept it. 

Sins were paid for. The price paid for our sin was the broken body and the spilled blood of Jesus. Nothing we have done has not been covered. When we acknowledge by faith that Jesus is Saviour, God looks at us and doesn’t see our past or present mistakes, He only sees someone made right through the finished work of Jesus. 

Made right with God. The dissatisfaction that we can often feel is impossible to fill by chasing after a dream, the perfect job, the right relationship or through the purchase of certain stuff. Nothing on this planet can satisfy us completely. Only through the cross can that gap be filled. 

We need to admit we need to be made right. To acknowledge our sin and believe that what Jesus did was for us. Why not consider this for a moment and ask Jesus into your life. Find true rest and rightness with God through the cross of Jesus Christ.