Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The View from the Cross

It is said that perception is 9/10 of reality. The way we perceive things to be are the way that they are, at least in our minds.

In our flesh it is so easy to have misconceptions or more precisely mis-perceptions. Therefore, how do we find the proper perception?

As Christians and as church leaders we can only find a true perspective and perception at the cross.

Daily we must trudge up the hill called Calvary. We must stand in the shadow of that beautifully awful place. From there the view is so clear. From there reality can be found. When I view life from the cross everything takes on it's true meaning and value; everything falls into focus.

Firstly, the cross changes the way I see God. No longer is He a distant; no longer is He an anonymous creator, but he is my savior. As I review the nails, the spear, the crown, and the blood I am overwhelmed by the love. No not shallow "I love you" love but a deep unwavering "no cost is too high" kind of love.

From this location I can see His eyes and hear his voice saying "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." As He took the ultimate offense, as He became sin for those that stood there jeering and mocking He offered them mercy instead of revenge. Peace instead of wrath. Love instead of hate.

It amazes me that He could react that way to such a terrible, unmerited offense and it makes me ask myself "how should I react when my feelings get hurt?"

Secondly, the cross changes how I view myself. I see myself reflected in this monument of suffering. What I see is a paradox because simultaneously I see my weakness and my possibility. My weakness overwhelms my thoughts, as my voice cries for mercy. Yet, at the same time my soul is empowered with the possibility that His sacrifice purchased for me. In my weakness I am humbled and at the same time in my weakness His strength is perfected.

The view from the cross changed my personal perspective. It has changed forever the way I see God and the way I see myself.

Thirdly, the cross changes my view of others. It is impossible to judge others harshly in the shadow of mercy. Desire for position seems so petty and insignificant at the cross. My offenses fade in the light of His long suffering love.

When I find myself growing cynical and becoming me centered I make my way back to the cross. The view from there brings everything back into focus. The cross experience purifies my desires, my ambitions, and my motives.

Have you been to the cross today? The view from there will change your life.

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

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