THE CROSS, THE MAN AND THE PEOPLE.
At this time when we seem to forget the cross embracing more of grace. The cross is what brought the grace. There is no grace without the cross. Even at the very center of the cross, the Lord brought a man near. The thief that was beside Him was wise enough to know that Jesus was a righteous and a faithful man. The cross brought grace for the man and Jesus said we will meet in paradise.
Luke 23:39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
23:40 But THE OTHER ANSWERING REBUKED HIM, SAYING, DOST NOT THOU FEAR GOD, SEEING THOU ART IN THE SAME CONDEMNATION?
23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: BUT THIS MAN HATH DONE NOTHING AMISS.
23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, TO DAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.
One may say why can’t save the other thief? There is power in acknowledging the Lord. He was able to recognize the Lord but the other one was mocking Him. The word he said was like he was receiving Jesus, and that can amount to Sonship.
John 1:12 BUT AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, TO THEM GAVE HE POWER(LICENSE) TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD, EVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIS NAME:
It’s clear Jesus gives power, license, right to Sonship to as many as possible through two means, receiving Him and also believing in His name.
The cross is about embracing the power of Christ and the effect of His death upon man. Man becomes useless with the cross. Your message of grace is useless if you don’t see what brought the grace you preach on the ground of the cross.
At that time when Jesus was hanged on the cross, that was the way they crucified thieves. They hang thieves on the cross. But why does His own seem to be different? And we saw that He was placed among the thieves and He was a righteous man. Jesus cross was different because He is a righteous man and He committed no offense. He was tempted at all point as we are, but yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN.
This is to tell us that temptation is not to bring us to sin but the work of the cross is to make us live even in temptation without sin. Jesus is the set example for us.
We saw that the wicked one came to Him and found no sin in Him.
John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: FOR THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD COMETH, AND HATH NOTHING IN ME.
That’s the accuser of the brethren himself. When an accuser comes around what they diligently do is to find fault in you. But he came and found nothing in Jesus. The power of the cross is to make us be like the Man Jesus hanged on the cross. The power of the cross is to make us such that the prince of this world will come and find nothing in us. This is powerful than using grace to pretend as though we have no sin. A man that truly knows the cross is a man that enjoys grace. Often a times we don’t know that Jesus went to the cross so that we might become like Him. We should not forget that when the Bible says when we were in sin and we received quickens with Him, it referred to what He did at the cross
Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, HATH QUICKENED US TOGETHER WITH CHRIST, (by grace ye are saved;)
Jesus made us to be crucified with Him and made us to appear sinless and we need to keep living sinless lives.
Romans 6:6 KNOWING THIS, THAT OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, THAT THE BODY OF SIN MIGHT BE DESTROYED, THAT HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.
Therefore a righteous man is a man that have been crucified with Christ to the putting away of the body of sin. The body of sin does one thing; to respond to sin. It does not know what it means to be live righteous or to live above sin. Until man comes to the place of death that body of sin can not be put away. The power of the body of sin is put away on the cross, so that we should no longer serve sin. Sin will remain in a man’s life when he has not identified with the death of Jesus on the cross. It is called grace because of this quickens that we received when we are dead with Him at the cross. What the people of God need to do is to embrace the work of the cross and engage themselves with the power of it. It can make a thief righteous. The power of the cross is the foundation for the sinless man and the rising of a righteous man.