Always Back to the Cross
March 16, 2019 | by: Shea Oakley | 0 Comments
Posted in: Follow Up From Sermons
Last Sunday Pastor Chris preached on the centrality of the cross to the authentic Christian life. He also called each of us back to the cross if we have in some way, in any way, drifted from it. He even went so far as to ask anyone who had lost sight of the cross of Christ, and wanted to have it front and center again, to raise their hands. Like many of you, I was one who did.
But such a gesture is not new for me. I’ve had to consciously return to focusing on that Roman instrument of execution more times in my life as a follower of Jesus than I can count.
For me, I must confess, it has almost always been during times in which I’ve become aware of just how much I am personally losing because of how much distance from God I have allowed into my life. It seems to only be then, when I realize how desperate is the need I have to meditate on what that cross means, it is only then that I return to Calvary.
Oh, but thank God it happens, whatever the cause!
Always back to the cross. In my darkest times, when I feel my faith leaving, or me leaving it. When I experience fear, doubt, even anger with a God who I know, in my head, is both perfect love and perfect justice, but has let so much happen to me in my life that I don’t understand. Yet, always, standing in the way of my giving up is the silent testimony of that cross. I then remember that no other human construct of “god” would possibly put himself on that cross; none other would be willing to put himself there! When I think deeply upon it the true God becomes so compelling to me, so profoundly compelling! If I had no other reason to think Him good, the one thing I could never deny is this ultimate proof: a bloody “tree” planted on a lonely hill outside Jerusalem.
You see, once I truly see it I can’t get around it, that cross stained with the blood of God, the God I call my own. I then not only realize again that I don’t want to abandon my faith. I realize I can’t, at least not as long as I return, in whatever form such “returning” takes, to that lonely hill.
The cross of Christ is the reason I’m still breathing, the reason I’m still breathing His Name.
I cannot pretend, no matter how hard my heart feels, no matter how much pain I am in, no matter how my pride lies to me. I cannot pretend that God is not love. Not as long as the cross of Jesus Christ can refill my sight, and I am stopped cold by what He did there.
I cannot truly see the cross and not somehow know that God is both absolutely good…and absolutely good to me.