"Remember The Cross"
When you're tempted to hurl abusive, angry words at your spouse or loved ones, remember the cross.
At the cross, Christ accomplished our salvation, forgiveness, and our justification (Isa. 53; Rom. 5:6-9). We need to remember the cross so it can have a constant and permanent influence on our lives. Each Lord's Day, we "break the bread in memory of that great sacrifice on Calvary."
I want to pose a couple of questions in this article. Do you personalize the cross? When we remember the shame and grueling pain our loving Savior accomplished on the cross, do we consider that our sins and iniquities put Him on the cross?
Do we consider that our sins are why the nails had to be driven through His hands and His feet? Do we fully acknowledge that our sins are the reason why the crown of thorns had to be pressed through His head (Matt. 27:29; Mk. 15:17; Jn. 19:2)?
I submit that true remembrance and reflection on the cross can cause the willful sinner to repent and return to God. True reflection on the cross can cause the haughty soul who feels he's above wrong and sin to be brought to his knees. When we fully realize the love it took for the Son of Man to go through the anguish and suffering, we will change.
It's difficult to think about that type of love and still live in utter rebellion against this Benevolent Savior. It's even hard to fathom that type of love as I type this article.
Romans 5:6:6-7 puts it this way: "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person, though perhaps for a good person one would even dare to die."
It is hard for us to comprehend someone dying for a righteous or a good person, but while we were sinners, Christ died for us. While we lived in open rebellion to the ways of the God who created us, Christ died for us. While we wanted to "burst their bonds and cast away their cords from us," Christ died for us (Ps. 2:3). It is hard to comprehend this kind of love. Nevertheless, it is real! Christ lived it!
If you've been a Christian for some time and you see the people of the world doing sinful things, you may get dissatisfied like Asaph was (Ps. 73) and think, "If only I weren't a Christian, I could do those things." When you think that way, go to the cross. Don't allow it to be a passing thought, but think and ruminate on the great shame and suffering our Savior went through to accomplish our freedom from sin. Think that the very sin you're tempted to commit put Jesus on the cross in the first place. Read passages like Psalm 22; Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19; Isaiah 53; and Philippians 2:5-8, in addition to many other passages and gain true perspective about the connection between sin and the cross.
Picture the Suffering Servant in your mind. Try to imagine the anguish He went through on the cross. It should cause you to hallow Christ in your mind and feel total appreciation for Him and what He did for you. Remember, He bled and died for us and our sins (Matt. 26:28).
When you see the world dressing immodestly, and you're tempted to join in, remember the cross. Remember that our sins placed Him there. Why put Him to open shame by dressing like the world and so sin against the Lord (Heb. 10:26-31)?
When you're tempted to hurl abusive, angry words at your spouse or loved ones, remember the cross. Remember Him who was oppressed and afflicted and was silent before His accusers as He was about to be slaughtered wrongfully (Isa. 53:7).
Friends and brethren, the cross has much power. The cross ought to change us. The One Who is revealed in glory in Isaiah 6 put on flesh in the form of a bondservant and died in the most brutal way that man could imagine (Isa. 6; Phil. 2:5-8). He did it for you and me.
Will we remember the cross of Christ all the days of our lives? Will we allow the cross to transform us?