After Christ was risen from the dead the disciples would preach a message of the cross. Wherever they went in the world, they would carry that same revolutionary power with them. It would shake lives to the core and change them eternally.
All of the amazing changes in people’s lives, by the power of the cross, will continue as long as it remains what it was originally-a cross. A subtle shift began to occur that, to this day, must break the heart of God. The power of the cross departs when it is changed from a thing of death into a thing of beauty. The more the cross has become a staple in fashion instead of an instrument of death, at best it becomes a weak emblem.
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
The cross is not only the instrument of death for Jesus, but it is to be the instrument that ends our old life. It destroys the old and brings it to a complete end. I think that we forget that the cross stands far above the nice, sweet, entertainment value that fashion has given it. When we push the cross into the bland world of something to simply be appreciated, we do it at the risk of the Lamb turning into the Lion.
I am only saying one simple thing: we must do one of two things when it comes to the cross, flee it or die on it. If we run from it, we throw away the faith of those who came before us and make Christianity out to be something that it was never intended to become. The only thing left will be empty language of a salvation that pulled out of the train station called “true redemption.” Because true redemption costs, and it is not fashionable. The cross changes everything.
Anytime you saw a man walking out of the city with a cross on his back, you knew one thing for sure, he was not coming back.
If we submit to the power of the cross, then we do what Jesus did, endure the cross and despise the shame of it for the joy that is coming. The apostle Paul said “I die daily.” WOW! To submit to the power of the cross is enter a pattern where our lives are destroyed and built again into an endless life. The cross will cut into our lives where it hurts the most, and it does not care about our reputations or our influence. It will defeat us and bring all of our stupid selfishness to an end.
The way the world (and the church) has viewed the cross in recent years has not changed the fact that Jesus demands that we still carry it. It does mean that current Christianity moved away from New Testament standards. But there is a movement happening, a new reformation to restore the cross to its right place.
Because wherever Jesus is lifted up, there will always be resurrection.