The First Prayer of the Cross (Part 2)

0

July 31, 2018

John 12:27-28

27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

CONSIDER THIS

There is THE CROSS and then there is MY CROSS and finally, there are our crosses.

So what is THE CROSS? We could define it as an incredibly shameful form of public execution whereby a notorious criminal is beaten to within an inch of their life, stripped naked, and affixed to two intersecting planks of wood where they are hung suspended until their death by asphyxiation . It would be an accurate depiction of crucifixion but an inadequate definition of THE CROSS.

THE CROSS is the will of God from before the foundation of the world to take the most unjust, inhumane, cruel and undeserved punishment known to human history and bring from it the most unbelievable, incredible, crowning act of redeeming love known to history and eternity.

27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”

And let’s be clear once more. THE CROSS, though finally and fully enacted on a certain Friday outside the gates of the city of Jerusalem around the year 33, is far more than a day in the history of the world. THE CROSS is the comprehensive scope of the preexistent, uncreated second person of the Trinity, who in the fullness of time was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. THE CROSS is etched into the manger at his birth. THE CROSS is sketched into his every day, every deed, every divine act of human compassion, every message, every miracle, even the most mundane movement of his blessed feet across the face of this broken ground. And with every step, the very beat of his heart, the fixation of his mind, the Spirit embedded and embodied this prayer

28 Father, glorify your name!”

THE CROSS is born out through his temptations and trials, according to his prayers, in his friendships, despite his enemies, by his discipleship, in light of betrayals and denials and abandonment. THE CROSS is weighted with every rejection, indignity, scornful glance and whispered accusation, and with every unlikely embrace by every undignified outcast leper, tree-climbing tax collector and woman of ill-repute. THE CROSS is his burial in the borrowed grave of a rich Pharisee. By THE CROSS he descended into Death and Hell with the Gospel of the Life of Heaven.. And most of all, THE CROSS, in the most stunning surprise of human history, enacted the great reversal, swallowing up death by death, as “on the third day he arose from the dead!”

28 Father, glorify your name!”

If you are a regular reader of the Daily Text, you know it doesn’t stop here. THE CROSS is engraved on his hands and head and feet in the glorious scars he showed us in those forty days of fellowship following his resurrection when he taught us lessons of the Kingdom we could only learn from a Risen God. By THE CROSS, he ascended into Heaven, sits at the right hand of God, and ever lives to make intercession for THE CROSS to wind its way down every highway and byway, through every alley of every forgotten slum, and through every door of every home of every gated suburban enclave.

28 Father, glorify your name!”

THE CROSS was, and is and ever shall be the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God for the salvation of all of Creation. It is salvation from the penalty of sin, deliverance from the power of sin, and restoration from the curse of sin. By this act of utterly inglorious divine love, God finally, fully, and demonstrably revealed his heart, mind, and will for the human race.

And THE CROSS will stand for all eternity, as Jesus triumphantly returns to consummate the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth in all its glorious splendor. In the heart of the heart of God, at the center of the Cosmos for all time and eternity stands the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. This, my friends, is THE CROSS.

28 Father, glorify your name!”

In the largest way and with the fewest words, THE CROSS is the weight of the glory of the love of God for the whole world, beginning with me.

28 Father, glorify your name!”

Yes, I said, beginning with me. Why? Because unless THE CROSS begins with me it is never effective for me, and if THE CROSS is never effective for me, it—the weight of the glory of the love of God for the whole world—will never happen through me.

Tomorrow we will make the seamless yet thorny transition from THE CROSS to MY CROSS and on to our crosses. It is enough today to marvel at the glory of it all in and of itself.

THE PRAYER

Almighty Ascended Lord Jesus Christ, you are high and exalted yet nearer than our breath. Give me the grace to survey THE CROSS. I confess I so easily reduce the eternal weight of the glory of the love of God to a transaction or a tenet of faith, like a tick box on a software agreement. Teach me to wrestle with it until I revel in it and finally rest in it. Father, glorify your name. Right here, Jesus. Right now, Jesus. Amen.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. How do you react/respond to this statement: THE CROSS is the weight of the glory of the love of God for the whole world, beginning with me.
  2. Has THE CROSS tended to be for you a single event on a single day in history, a kind of ledger transaction that you acknowledge and accept on your behalf and then move on?
  3. What do you make of this press I am making for a much larger grasping of the THE CROSS and what implications does it have for your life and discipleship?

Subscribe to receive the Daily Text email.

Join the Daily Text Facebook group here.

Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge here. Whenever you sign up, it will begin the following Tuesday.

J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

SHARE

Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

NO COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.