the way of the cross leads home

In a great old hymn we are reminded that the only way for the follower of Jesus is the way of the cross, the cross of Jesus. Because of that cross we have forgiveness and new life, and are to live in identity with the crucified one, to actually become conformed to his death, becoming like him in his death. Only then, and surely so, we begin to experience his resurrection life.

This is the way for salvation, which again includes forgiveness and new life. And it is the way to live as God’s people in the world. It means death to self, to sin, and life to God, to righteousness. It is both in terms of personal righteousness and justice for the world. The way of the cross is the way of the kingdom of God in and through its king, King Jesus. In a sense the throne oddly enough is the cross. I believe I’ve seen a crucifix at least once with a resurrected, ascended Lord, no longer nailed to it, but somehow standing in front of it, perhaps pictured as in triumph. The cross is the way in which Jesus became King, that verified by his resurrection and ascension, and soon to be made known in his appearing. And so the way of the cross is Jesus centered. (A wonderful salvation message with testimonies pertaining to this, from Billy Graham).

I need this reminder because I sometimes can be lost in the sadness and maelstrom that is life. In all the things we humans can get caught up in, which are not helpful, and in fact contrary and opposed to the cross of Jesus. Of course because of that cross those things are taken care of, indeed put to death, in fact it is because of those things that the cross was necessary in the first place. Sin as found in the world, the flesh and the devil was dealt a death blow at the cross. We are to enter into a relationship with God through that cross, and live our lives in its light. As we take the way of the cross in Jesus, a change begins to take place. And we are living by a different life, altogether, indeed the very life of Jesus. But it is always and forever for us in this life, the way of the cross that leads home. Together in Jesus in this and for the world.