The Centrality of The ‘Cross’ and it’s ‘Power’ to change
“Verily, Verily, I say unto you, except a Corn of Wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone; but if it die, It brings forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviours Blood,
Died He for me, who caused His pain,
For me, who Him to death pursued,
Amazing Love, how can it be,
That you, my God, should die for me
The Cross of the Roman world was not just a quick execution, but a slow and painful exterminator – its purpose, was to remove its subject from this present world; its method of dismissal was brutal, sadistic and cruel, and it knew no compromise nor mercy. The Cross of Calvary that Jesus chose to suffer and die was no different.
“I am crucified with Christ” declared Paul in Galatians. God’s Kingdom can only be fully operational and developed in us when ‘self’ is crucified; the un-surrendered areas put to the sword, so that He becomes ’Lord of my life’. The Apostle Paul is speaking here of another crucifixion, a Divine process, a principle that is at work in our lives to bring us to full maturity – ‘The way of the Cross’
The cross incorporates a revolutionary power but it loses its power to change when we see it as anything other than a process of death. There is no compromise with the ‘Cross’; it destroys and terminates in order to build new life. Jesus said: “That if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 3:34).
The mention of the word death is not a very popular subject, yet to the born again Christian, the workings of the cross in their lives is so profound that to ignore it would be to neglect a process of change that is constantly at work in their lives. For without the principle of death there can be no life; without the dying of the seed corn there will rise up within us nothing more than the things of earth – “For we must decrease, if He is to increase” John 3.20.
The aspiring Christian, at some time in his walk with God, will discover if his faith is real. He will have experienced something of the pain of the pruning instrument at work on his journey; a power at work that can neither be manipulated nor controlled, but it is entirely sovereign – and it is a work entirely of ‘The Holy Spirit’.
If the Divine principle of the Cross is to be effective then it must be in the death of the ‘Old Adam’. For if the Cross of the New Testament is to mean anything, then it is in the workings of God’s ‘Sanctifying Power’, in the purging of the ‘Natural Man’ in order to produce the ‘Spiritual’.
The hymn writer Wesley; consumed with Divine Love; filled with the Holy Spirit, and full of faith, saw Gods eternal plan in the cross. And with the anointing upon him, wrote this hymn that generations of pilgrims have passionately sung with believing faith:
‘Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing my Great Redeemers Praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace;
He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me
May the ‘Cross’ and all that it represents, continue to remind us of its ‘Centrality’ in our lives, and it’s ‘Power to change’
Jack has been a faithful member of the Free Methodist Church for 34 years, spending many of those years in leadership. He lives in Lancashire, UK, and has recently celebrated 60 years as being a Christian! Find our more about Jack and the story behind Jack’s corner: Treasures of the Word here.