Mention the cross to the average believer and all they can say is, “that’s where Jesus died for me." They are right. But there is much more to the cross than the sacrifice at Golgotha.
I find that many, if not most believers, seldom think of the cross except at Easter. I realize Jesus said that we are to remember the death, burial and resurrection by practicing the Lord’s Supper. But usually we only reflect on the fact that Jesus died for our sins and rose again. While that is a major attribute of the cross, it is just the beginning of what we should know regarding the cross.
Paul reminds us, “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1Cor. 1:18) Notice the phrase, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” The power of God becomes operative in our life when the principle of the cross is applied.
What is the principle of the cross? It is the application of the death process that prunes us, so that we might be the recipient of the power of God. The cross is an instrument of death. It is the means by which God purges us of all those things that are inconsistent with “who we are in Christ.” It is the act of sanctification whereby all those things that hinder us from manifesting God’s power are put to death.
Paul describes this process in 2 Corinthians where he says, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, (which is Jesus) that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves. We are afflicted…but not crushed, perplexed, but not despairing. Persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus (death process)…For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
The principle of the cross working in us (the death process) is the most important aspect of our spiritual maturity. When things fall apart we should pay attention, because it could be the cross process at work. It could be God attempting to get our attention because He wants to purge us of all those things that hinder the power of God working through us. The cross deals with things like arrogance, pride, self-centeredness, anger, selfishness, self-reliance and self-pity, and a myriad of other sins.
It’s not worth the fight, you can’t win anyway. Give up and allow God to do His work in you. Will you allow the “Principle of the Cross” to put to death all those things that keep you in control? God wants His power to rest upon you.
“You see, the short-lived pains of this life are creating for us an eternal glory that does not compare to anything we know here.” (2 Cor. 4:17- The Voice)