The Pastor’s Quill
By Pastor Tim Hodge
July 09, 2017
Almost daily I wear a cross necklace. I often pause as I pick it up off my nightstand and I reflect on “THE CROSS” of Christ. The necklace is more than a piece of jewelry to me; rather, it is a reminder of my faith in “THE ONE” who died upon “THE CROSS”. Part of my spiritual discipline as I hold that cross necklace is to give thanks for “THE CROSS” and I ask God, by His grace, allow me to live under the shadow of “THE CROSS” and the life that flows from it.
“THE CROSS” is pivotal to the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul blazed a trail across the middle east, through Asia Minor, Greece, and into Rome as he preached the gospel and taught people how to live according to the Kingdom of Christ. The central point of his ministry was “THE CROSS.” In the city of Corinth, a major metropolitan area buzzing with the populace working the naval commerce of its ports, Paul spent about a year and a half establishing the church. Later, Paul would write two letters to the church of Corinth (in our Bible they are 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians). In 1 Corinthians 2:2, we find Paul writing, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (NKJV). Paul was reminding them that everything he said and did was anchored in “THE CROSS”!
I am concerned that we westernized Christians may tend to fall prey to the tragedy of familiarity with “THE CROSS”. We have pictures, jewelry, statues, what-nots, and all sorts of memorabilia with crosses. As a Christian and leader I feel we sometimes need to pause and reflect on the elementary things of the gospel. I believe a more consistent focus on the cross and the elements pertaining to it must be a priority. I heard a speaker recently describe people who get too far out in their thinking. He said, “They out-punted their coverage.” In other words, they tried to go too deep and didn’t stay anchored to the elementary things; they ended up in a mess.
To me, “THE CROSS” is something that we must constantly stay anchored to. This takes a conscientious effort. We can, and should, go deep in elements of healing, provision, spiritual warfare, prayer, worship, and the gamut of Christian experience, but we’d better not “out-punt our coverage” and lose sight of “THE CROSS”.
Here are two (2) basic elements of “THE CROSS” that we’d better stay anchored in: (1) It was THE PRICE of our redemption from sin and (2) we must constantly remind ourselves it was (and is) THE SACRIFICE of the cross that was (and is) required – it WAS His sacrifice and it IS now our sacrifice. Jesus said: “…If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24, NKJV).
In conclusion, “THE CROSS” is pivotal to our faith. “THE CROSS” was THE PRICE of our redemption (the ransom was paid with the life and life-blood of God’s own Son). “THE CROSS” was (and still is) the place of SACRIFICE.
“THE CROSS” – think about it!