SIMPLE TRUTH: Eyes fixed on the Christ of the cross

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, May 1, 2013

By Charles Christmas

In recent days and through Easter Sunday, churches everywhere are giving extra effort to remind Christians and non-believers that the death of Jesus Christ on his cross, and his resurrection, is of first importance. This is the foundation of all for a church, and for the church, which is the worldwide body of Jesus Christ on earth and in heaven. Being reminded of the cross meets a great need for every one of us.

However, the Bible, in Hebrews 12:2-3, goes a step beyond remembering the cross and says, “Let us fix our eyes on the Christ of the cross.” Look, keep looking, and don’t stop looking to the living Christ of the cross. How will such ongoing fixed eyes and mind meet a need in my life and help me?

It will help me to never forget how sinful and helpless before God I was, and that the sufferings and sacrifice of Jesus Christ for my sins was the only hope for me and anyone else to become right with God. I keep remembering that the crucified, risen Christ is now at the right hand of God, keeping me saved to the uttermost, for he ever lives to make intercession for us. As I confess my failures, he assures me that his eternal sacrificial blood cleanses from all unrighteousness.

By keeping my eyes and mind fixed on the Christ of the cross, I cannot forget how much God loves me. I have a great motivation to love God in obedience, and to love others. A person may get in such a frame of mind and circumstance, that he may question if God really loves him, but God’s love for me is only ultimately assured when my mind is fixed again on the Christ of the cross. The Bible says, “God proved his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Just remember the cross, and you will remember that God loves you.

With the eyes of my mind fixed on the Christ of the cross, I remember that not only have my past sins been forgiven, but sin is also no longer my master. The Bible clearly and simply teaches that Jesus did not only die for me, but I also died with him. I died to sin as my master, and I rose with him for God to be my new master. This is what the Bible means when it says, “Therefore, if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!” God says, “By faith, count it to be true for you, claim it as your very own, and take personal exclusive possession of it, that through the Christ of the cross you are dead to sin as your master and alive to God as your master.”

My mind fixed on the Christ of the cross will give me courage for endurance along the journey God has marked out for me. Christ has not called me to an easy life in following him, but to one that calls for endurance, in which I may experience discouragement, grow weary and sometimes lose heart. The Christ of the cross is the one who originated my faith and will be the finisher of my faith. He is my example for the journey, my companion for the journey and the goal at the end of the journey. Therefore, the Bible says, “Fix your eyes on Jesus, who for the joy set before him endured the cross and is set down at the right hand of God.”

—Charles Christmas is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Thursday.