Friday: Our Example


Tim Keller

"The cross is not simply an atonement, but a revelation of how God works with the people He loves.  . . . . .On the cross Jesus wins through losing, triumphs through defeat, achieves power through weakness, comes to wealth through giving all away." 

This week we've looked at many facets of Christ's work on the cross.  Many wonderful writers will write beautifully today about Christ's sacrifice and how the horrors of a Cross leads to freedom and joy for us.  I'd encourage you to read as much as you can.  We can't think too much on Christ's work for us. 

I'm going to take a little departure. . . . . T thought I'd look at some practical, pragmatic takeaways from the bloody cross.  As Tim Keller says above. . . the Cross, among the many things we've looked at this week, is a revelation of God's relationship to us.  He turns everything in our world and relationships upside-down.  To lead by serving, to take power through sacrifice. . . . it's all revolutionary.  

And, it is our example for how we relate to each other.  We are to love. . . .love, even when it's to our own detriment. . . . .even when we don't feel like it.

 "Love one another".  

What would our families, churches, cities, etc. . look like if the church would follow what Christ tells us, and shows us is the way forward for christians?  It is indeed, how God works with the people he loves, and we should work that way with each other.  

What if my life was not about realizing my full potential?  What if fulfillment is most found in laying down our lives for each other?  What if we thought about what our brother or sister needed, even in "individual" decisions such as where we live, where we work, what kinds of activities we'll value with our kids?  What if we thought of others in those decisions?  

What if we stopped trying to get ours?  What if we stopped trying to find the affirmation, competency, and satisfaction that Christ already bought for us with His own blood?  

Remember on the Cross, Jesus was working out family issues for his mother, Mary (John 19:  "Behold, your son; behold, your mother")  He was thinking of others, even in this moment, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."  

How do you do that?  The place to start is rooting and grounding yourself in the love of our Savior, and keeping achievement and advancement goals where they belong:  underneath your commitment to Christ and sharing his love with your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors.  

"This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" -1 John 4:10