The other day my 5 year old son asked me, “Mom, how do you know you’re going to heaven?” (oh if we would only ask like a child!)
I prayed quickly to myself to find help to explain and answered, “Because God can’t lie son. And He said if I just put all my trust in Jesus for my goodness, and don’t trust at all that I’m good enough on my own, then He’ll save me and take me to be with Him forever.”
“Hmm. Okay.” He answered satisfied.
I prayed more and thought of how simple it really is, yet how it’s the most attacked, most impossible choice to make. Apart from the Father drawing us we will always defend ourselves or feel sorry for ourselves, but if He draws us and we simply look believing upon His cross… “the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:15-17)
This was in my inbox from Elizabeth Elliott this morning. And I’m praying for that laying down of his burden, that simple believing look at the cross this morning for one that I love. My husband is having surgery this morning, and if you’d join me in praying, I’d be so grateful! All hell fights for the ones I love to keep a believing look towards the One who hung on the cross for them from happening. It seems this simple little surgery has one facing the reality that death is a very real possibility. Oh Lord help him to look to the Cross believing! Help him to see the High Priest who shared in his humanity to free him from the power of death by His own death!
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so
that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is,
the devil– and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their
fear of death. – Hebrews 2:14-15
Surprising it will always be to those who come to that Cross, and foolishness it will always be to those who don’t. Rest comes by His sorrow, life by His death? Yes. “His purpose in dying for all was that men, while still in life, should cease to live for themselves and should live for him who for their sakes died and was raised to life. With us therefore worldly standards have ceased to count in our estimate of any man…. When anyone is united to Christ, there is a new world (or a new act of creation); the old order has gone, and a new order has already begun” (2 Corinthians 5:15-17, NEB).
That new order is a far cry from the notion of self-acceptance which has taken hold of the minds of many Christians. Any message which makes the Cross redundant is anti-Christian. The original sin, pride, is behind my “poor self-image,” for I felt that I deserved better than I got, which is exactly what Eve felt! So it was pride, not poor
self-image, that had to go. If I’m so beautiful and lovable, what was Jesus doing up there, nailed to the cross and crowned with thorns? Why all that hideous suffering for the pure Son of God? Here’s why: There was no other way to deliver us from the hell of our own proud self-loving selves, no other way out of the bondage of self-pity and self-congratulation. How shall we take our stand beneath the cross of Jesus and continue to love the selves that put Him there? How can we survey the wondrous cross and at the same time feed our pride? No. It won’t work. Jesus put it simply: If you want to be My disciple, you must leave self behind, take up the cross, and follow Me.
George MacDonald writes, “Right gladly would He free them from their misery, but He knows only one way: He will teach them to be like Himself, meek and lowly, bearing with gladness the yoke of His Father’s will. This is the one, the only right, the only possible way of freeing them from their sin, the cause of their unrest.”