The cross is not a metaphor; it is the avenue which God chose, and Jesus accepted, to take us into the tenaciously loving embrace of the hands of our Creator.

"Today you will be with me in Paradise..."

“Today you will be with me in Paradise…”

It is time we stopped speaking of the cross as a symbol. “[Jesus] said to all of them, ‘Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses every day, and follow me’ “ (Luke 9:23 God’s Word©). Now is the time to pick it up.

Jesus died on the cross to eliminate the fleshy part of Self that warred so fiercely against the Spirit. So we, too, must die to the flesh and come alive in spirit by Paraclete.

The cross is not a burden to carry, but a graveyard where I am buried. “I no longer live…” (Galatians 2:20a God’s Word©).

After we pick up our cross we follow Jesus. So I am dead to self, “but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins” (Galatians 2:20b God’s Word©). To follow Jesus means life. Not the old life with me at the centre, but “Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence” (2 Corinthians 5:17 God’s Word©).

complain2Jesus showed us how to spread Good News as “a new creation”: heal people, train disciples for the work of evangelism, honour Creator in all things, and when suffering comes act like Jesus and take it in silence. This teaching pervades the lessons in God’s curriculum for me, especially the last two years. I was faced with it when God lead me to re-read Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life”. And then re-reading “Revolution of Love”, Neill Foster’s small book on the revival in Western Canada in the 1970’s, my heart gasped because the sweep of the Spirit came from honest, loving laypeople, not clergy.

18369905-hand-supporting-a-womanListening recently to the apologists and defenders of the faith like Ravi Zacharias, Joe Boot and Paul Maier hammered it home again; the message is Jesus.

All this on top of Paraclete churning inside my soul. What happens to me happens within the context that what would happen was for the whole Realm of God, not just a small part for an individual. My worth has to do with my place in God’s loving embrace, not my place in history!

Metaphor falls far short of describing the cross. When the cross takes its place as the arena of my calling and mission something important happens.

Good News happens. Paraclete happens. Jesus happens. God happens. I just happen to be in the right place at the right time to experience it happening.

It just happens at the cross, “every day”.