I love the spring. The days are longer. The birds are singing and busy building their nests. The trees are budding. There are bouquets of crocuses and snowdrops everywhere. There is evidence of new growth and new life everywhere.
For me, the most wonderful thing about spring is that it’s a reminder to focus on the cross of Christ. A time of remembering Jesus suffering, death and resurrection. It’s a time to focus on and reflect on what the cross really means remembering that it is not about what Jesus can do for us but about what Jesus has already done for us! I would like to share some personal reflections, about what the cross means to me, with you in this blog.
In my blog posted on July 18, 2021 entitled ‘How Are You Going to Respond to so Great a Salvation?’, there was a picture of a girl clinging to a cross. I shared that the Lord has impressed upon me that this is where I need to spend my life. I shared that this is my response to great a salvation-clinging to Jesus, relying on Him alone and believing, receiving and living the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
I encourage you to read and spend some time meditating on Isa 52:13-Isa 53:12 and Phil 2:5-8. As I do this Isa 52:14; 53:5 and Phil 2:8 are highlighted to me.
But many were amazed when they saw Him. His face was so disfigured He seemed hardly human, and from His appearance, one would scarcely know He was a man. (Isa 52:14 NLT)
But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (Isa 53:5 NLT)
He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. (Phil 2:8)
To me, the cross represents death and life. Death of my old self, my old life and new life in Christ. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I no longer do the things I used to do. I no longer live the life I used to live. I live for Jesus, not for myself. It is about living a life set apart for Jesus!
Before I was saved I struggled with materialism, believing that the things of the world would fill the void inside me, which of course didn’t work and there was never enough. I experienced the debt that went along with this lifestyle. I spent a lot of time shopping and buying things that I didn’t need. An outing was going shopping in the mall. As soon as I got saved, I got convicted about how I spent my time and money, now knowing that Jesus is more than enough. To come out of the old pattern of thinking and behavior I would say over and over, “I don’t do that anymore.” And “I don’t need that. I only need Jesus.” Years after being saved I found that the only time I spent in shopping malls was to share the gospel and pray for healing for people. Praise Jesus!
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20 NKJV)
and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. (2 Co 5:15 NKJV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Co 5:17 NKJV)
Because of what Jesus did on the cross I have been made right with God and will live eternally with Him. Years ago while studying the book of Ephesians, Holy Spirit revealed an amazing truth to me-“I am never going to die!” At the time, I knew in my head what the scriptures say but it hadn’t yet reached my heart. I remember clearly how overwhelmed with awe and joy I was!
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Co 5:21 NKJV)
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 Jn 5:11-12 NKJV)
Jesus’s example of suffering makes it possible for me to overcome any challenge, trial and tribulation, knowing He is with me. I have had a number of challenges, trials and tribulations in my life, including after I was saved. One particular long and difficult one was clearly an example of persecution and suffering for the name of Christ. However, at the same time, there was a cleansing in my life, development of my character and many opportunities for testimony. God was with me and gave me everything I needed to persevere to the end. In the end I made a decision to be obedient to God and not to man. To please God and not man. There were many blessings as a result of this decision. I saw Jesus save, heal and free many women! Praise Jesus!
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world. If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. (1 Peter 4:12-14 NLT)
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, (Phil 3:10 NKJV)
For me, the cross represents forgiveness of all of my sins. Because of His great sacrifice, His shed blood, I am forgiven. My sins have been taken away. Conviction of sin and repentance have led to freedom and victory over sin. The forgiveness I have received compels me to forgive others.
After I was saved I went through an intense period of conviction and repentance. I had never read the bible prior to being saved. After being saved I couldn’t put it down and haven’t, not for one day in the past 20 years. The conviction and repentance brought forgiveness and freedom and learning to live a completely new life in Christ! I have also been in a number of prisons of unforgiveness towards others including taking up offences on behalf of others. Holy Spirit helped me to truly forgive from my heart and release all anger, bitterness and resentment. I have learned to walk in forgiveness making a decision to not receive any invitation from the enemy to go back into the prisons I was in. Praise the Lord!
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Co 7:10 NKJV)
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (Eph 1:7 NKJV)
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph 4:31-32 NKJV)
I encourage you to also read Ro 5:8-9; Ro 6 and 1 Jn 1:9.
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, I can declare with confidence, “by His stripes I am healed.” I have many testimonies of being healed in Jesus name! I have been healed from depression, osteoporosis and thyroid disease, just to name a few. Praise Jesus!
His wounds became your healing. (1 Peter 2:24 MSG)
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, (Ps 103:3 NKJV)
The cross is freedom. Because of what Jesus did on the cross I have been set free from captivity and oppression and can resist the devil and he will flee. I have been set free from so much demonic oppression including fear, anxiety, condemnation and perfectionism.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Meto heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; (Lk 4:18 NKJV)
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (Ja 4:7 NKJV)
I am overwhelmed by the cross of Christ-its life, death, salvation, healing, freedom, power and most of all LOVE. Thank you for reading this. I pray that the same thing will happen to you as it has to me-I have fallen deeper in love with Jesus!
I love the song “The Wonderful Cross”. I encourage you to listen to it. The part that stands out for me is “Love so amazing, so divine Demands my soul, my life, my all!”
I will finish with two scriptures:
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Co 1:18 NKJV)
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal 6:14 NKJV)
I pray that as you reflect on what the cross means to you, that you will have many opportunities to share this with others. I pray this for myself also.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV)