In the Shadow of the Cross:
Backdrop: Ephesians 2:12-13
I marvel at the condition of so much of the world. We look for hope in sex with strangers, in the bottom of a bottle, in drugs, in material things, etc. We search endlessly, but hope continues to elude us. It's as though hope is the carrot and life is the stick. It is dangled before us as we chase, but ultimately it is trying to entice us near the Cross. Unfortunately, we look outward and see the Cross on the horizon, but we turn away in disgust...only to chase that elusive hope again, trying to escape the view of the Cross.
Our flesh is repulsed by the Cross. It hates the Cross. It hates Jesus.
Why? I think it's because of what Jesus on the Cross represents: righteousness. Our flesh recognizes that its unrighteousness put Jesus on the Cross, but it hates the idea that it could be unrighteous. Our flesh hates the light, so we run from it back into the darkness.
We think we can find hope in the darkness, but it is only found in the darkness of the shadow of the Cross. It is there that God has rescued us, there that He has forgiven us, there that He beckons us. If we would but lay down our foolish attempts and turn to Him, turn to the Cross, we would find true hope.
This passage to the believer requires hat we live differently than the world around us. Live in such a way that leads people to finally find hope in the Cross. Show them the way home by your life script.
Additionally, we who believe must continue to find our hope at the Cross. Don't be fooled into thinking it can be found elsewhere. Do not look for the greener grass on the other side of the fence. Instead, remember the muck and mire from which God saved you...and then turn again to the Cross in thankfulness.