Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Message of the Cross: What's in it for God

We often think of the Bible as God's message for us. We read it to find out what God has given us. For many, the Bible has become their personal promise box. Our whole perspective of the word of God is how it relates to ourselves and not to God. However, the Bible is as much a record of what God has done for Himself as it is a record of what He has done for us. Jesus died on the cross not only for what it would do for us but also for what He would gain through the cross. Jesus went to the cross not only for us but also for Himself; that He might purchase something for Himself.
"Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)
Jesus went to the cross because of the Joy that was set before Him. He knew that something would be accomplished through the cross that would bring Him great joy and it was because of the hope of this joy that He endured the cross and its shame. So what was that Joy? It was not just that we might be saved but that He might have us with Him.
"For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)
Jesus was not content to conquer death Himself but His desire was that through the cross many would conquer death and that, as a result, he would have many brethren. "For which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, 'I will proclaim your name to my brethren.'" (Hebrews 2:11-12) The Joy that lead Jesus to the Cross was not the hope of His own glory and honor but us. Jesus hoped to win us for Himself through His death on the cross and that hope was his joy.
"Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." (Titus 2:14)
Through His death on the cross Jesus purchased us for Himself. We cannot receive the things Jesus provided for us through the cross until we first become His. Jesus purchased us and it is only as His that we can receive the benefits of the cross.

Jesus died for us to have us. Jesus does not want our scarifies, our works, or even our worship, He first and foremost wants us; that we might be His people, that we might be His brethren. Our journey through the cross begins by becoming His and continues as we learn to discover the things He has provided for us through His love.

David Robison

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