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Monday, March 17, 2008

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Alicia from Truth Portraits

"The Cross"


For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3.16

Rarely do we find a cross in a church that even remotely resembles the cross of Christ Jesus. They seem to be lacking in splinters and blood. Our modern crosses are made of precious metals and polished to perfection. Symmetrical and spotless, we mount them under adoring lights or poise them atop spiraling steeples.

So it is understandable that the sight of such crosses does not bring us to our knees in gratitude to God. Understandable, but unfortunate. Jesus’ cross would have made us weep.

It was rough and rugged and merciless. It represented humiliation and rejection and failure. It tore His flesh and absorbed His blood. And through it we now know the love of God.

We cannot rest in God’s love without remembering Christ’s cross. The two are bound together, dependant on and reflective of each other. The blood-stained cross of Jesus is the clearest and most compelling evidence of God’s great love for us.

Consider what the writers of the New Testament said about the connection between Jesus’ sacrifice and the love of God:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5.6-8
When we were weak and unable to help ourselves, Jesus came to our rescue. With no guarantee that we would even care, Jesus died for us. He submitted to the cross—a punishment normally reserved for the lowest of criminals—so that sinners could experience God’s love.

Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved…Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. ~ Ephesians 2.4-5; 5.2

When we were spiritually lifeless because of our sins, Jesus sacrificed Himself to save us. In His rich and surpassing love, Jesus laid down His life through a humiliating death—one that the religious viewed as cursed—so that we could be become alive in Him.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ~ 1 John 4.9-10

When we were loveless toward God, God sent His Son as evidence of His unfathomable love for us. Jesus embraced unimaginable pain—through one of the cruelest forms of execution known to man—so that we could live for God.

When we were powerless, ungodly, and unrighteous, dead in our transgressions, and without love for God, Jesus died on the cross to save us!

Now that is love. That is worth living for. That is even worth dying for. And that is most definitely worthy of resting in!

Resting in God’s Truth…
  • We cannot rest in God’s love without remembering Christ’s cross.

  • Without the cross, we would still be powerless and dead in our sins.

  • The blood-stained cross of Jesus is the clearest and most compelling evidence of God’s great love for us.

_____________________________

Alicia Britt Chole is a speaker and author who lives with her fun-filled tribe of five in the Ozarks of Missouri.

Visit Alicia's blog: Truth Portraits

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9 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Awesome post, thank you.

March 18, 2008 at 2:53 AM  
Blogger Praise and Coffee said...

Alicia,
Thank you, that was beautiful!

Sue

March 18, 2008 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

"Amazing love, how can it be?"

Thanks for sharing that.

March 18, 2008 at 7:28 AM  
Blogger lori said...

Alicia....
that was so poignant and perfect...many of us are uncomfortable by the thought of a "splintered and bloody cross."

"We cannot rest in God’s love without remembering Christ’s cross. The two are bound together, dependent on and reflective of each other. The blood-stained cross of Jesus is the clearest and most compelling evidence of God’s great love for us."

That is beautiful and rings so true in my heart....He died for me....on a blood stained cross....It brings me to a place I need to be...
thank you for your words today...

peace,
lori

March 18, 2008 at 1:11 PM  
OpenID darnelle said...

"When we were powerless, ungodly, and unrighteous, dead in our transgressions, and without love for God, Jesus died on the cross to save us!"


As beautifully written as I have ever seen! We weren't only lost and clueless, we were without love for Him - and He knew it - STILL He gave His life. There is no greater picture of love. Thank you for sharing with us today. I am renewed in my remembrance of what was given to me when I so didn't deserve it.

Blessings,
Darnelle

March 18, 2008 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger alicia britt chole said...

Twenty-five years after He interrupted my atheistic existence, His cross still brings me to tears.

Thank you all for your encouraging words today.

alicia

March 18, 2008 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

It makes me think about how easy it is to love those who love us, but not so easy to love those who aren't easy to love. Thanks,Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

March 18, 2008 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Alicia, that's such a timely and wonderful post. Thank you for sharing it with us!

March 19, 2008 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Chris @ Come to the Table said...

tears....thank you for sharing this beautiful post Alicia!

March 20, 2008 at 9:04 AM  

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