Robbie and I are grateful for time away last week to spend vacation with our family. We particularly enjoyed sharing a few days with our grandchildren having a great time soaking up sun and sand on the beach. Matthew and I spent a few hours fishing which, of course, resulted in him catching the biggest lunker caught by at least the 50 other people who were fishing with us on the party boat. He caught what they called a “Hog” fish. It was a big red, big lipped, pig of a fish (6 lbs. at least) that had a couple of really nasty looking teeth. He had it filleted and plans to eat what they called a super tasty treat.
My contribution to the trip was to read an old book from my seminary days, but never read, entitled “The Empty Cross” by Michael Green. I read about the 9 reasons the Bible says Jesus went to the cross. I read about the reasons famous theologians and preachers in history believe he went to the cross. I was amazed by the love of God that was demonstrated at the cross. I was humbled by the amazing grace revealed at the cross for me, because my sins combined with the sins of the whole world put Him there. When you look at the cross, you have to realize that God’s grace is big enough to include your own sins along with everybody else’s. PRAISE GOD!
The truth of the cross is stated by one of my favorite commentators, William Barclay: “One thing I know—that because of Jesus Christ and because of what he is and did and does my whole relationship with God is changed. Because of Jesus Christ, I know that God is my father and friend. Daily and hourly I experience the fact that I can enter into his presence with confidence and with boldness. He is no longer my enemy; he is no longer even my judge. There is no longer an unbridgeable gulf between him and me. I am more at home with him than with any human being in the world. And all this is so because of Jesus Christ and it could not possibly have happened without him.” (William Barclay, Crucified and Crowned, p. 130)
If the cross is anything, it is the front door of a new and intimate relationship with God made possible by the blood of Jesus. God does not allow sin to disrupt the flow of His love for us. He will not stand for us to remain separated from Him by sin or unbelief. He has made a way. God wants to walk with us, talk with us and be our Heavenly Father. He made it possible for us to have a close relationship with Him at Calvary. The only thing now that will keep us at a distance is to reject what Jesus did there. God is relational. You can deny to have a relationship with Him, but that’s on you. God will not interfere with your free choice.
So, I sing today with the hymn writer:
Tow’ring o’er the wrecks of time;
Gathers round it’s head sublime.
When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy;
Never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo! It glows with peace and joy.
FOR THE OLD RUGGED CROSS!