GALATIANS 6:14-But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
This week in the church history calendar is Passion Week recognizing the last week of the life of the Lord Jesus and His sufferings. Palm Sunday gives way to Good Friday and then to Resurrection Sunday. It is a time for serious reflection on the cost of our salvation and a rejoicing over the God of love who provided the way for our salvation. Yet, like Christmas, we need to not keep Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday on the calendar as events to remember and then put back on the shelf for another year. Christmas, the Incarnation of Christ, is to be a daily awareness (John 1:14).Resurrection Sunday and its power is to be a daily reality strengthening us to live the resurrected with Christ life (Romans 6:5; Philippians 3:10)
And when it comes to Good Friday, the cross of Christ, it, too, has powerful implications for living the Christian life. Christ’s cross is not a symbol on a vehicle, a piece of jewelry around one’s neck, or a nice fixture in a church building. It is the instrument of death to be daily appropriated in the life of the believer. The Apostle Paul places great emphasis on the practicality of the cross of Christ in his life as a believer and especially in his letter to the Galatians. He would write, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).Notice the radical application he makes; “I died with Christ. His cross became my cross. My whole identity is Christ crucified and risen. His love in dying for me is now my soul reason for living.” And that, friends, defines the Christian life. But there is more. Paul would close out the letter to the Galatians with another reference to the cross of Christ and its personal application. We see it in today’s scripture. As we ponder this text, take time and read Romans 6. It is a wonderful exposition of this verse showing us the practical power of the cross in the believer’s life when daily appropriated by faith. Back to the scripture of the day.
In the daily battles against our spiritual foes of the devil, flesh, and the world, how do we fight against them and especially the constant pull of our sinful nature by the world to be a partaker of its passions and allurements? The cross. Go back to today’s scripture. Paul teaches us that in the power of the cross, the world’s sinful attachments have been overpowered by a greater affection. But there is more. He even says, “I am dead to them as well.” Think about this. Basically, we can look at any temptation and when it says, “Pleasure, fulfillment, contentment, enjoyment”, we may immediately respond, “I don’t need you. I won’t be pursue you. You are powerless to me because the One who died for my sin is the One who empowers me by His cross to defeat sin.” Learn to preach this gospel daily and apply the cross in all our spiritual battles. It will prove to defeat sin and temptation consistently.
PRAYER: “Father, keep me near the cross of Your Son for it is the only place for me to daily defeat sin.”
QUOTE: “To allow our hearts and minds to drift from the cross is to take a turn down the road to becoming a backslider.”