The crucifixion of Christ is an historical event! But it casts a shadow still today in the lives of those who have been saved by grace through faith. And it does in very practical ways. Really good stuff from Tim Chester here:
What does the practice of the cross mean when someone wrongs me?
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4: 32).
What does the practice of the cross mean when I’m tired and someone asks for help?
“But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you” (Philippians 2: 17).
What does the practice of the cross mean when I want to hold back from taking a risk or moving out of my comfort zone?
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5: 1– 2).
What does the practice of the cross mean when I start asking, “How will this affect me?”
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus … he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2: 4– 5, 8).
What does the practice of the cross mean when my family asks why I’ve not pursued a career like other people?
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6: 14).
What does the practice of the cross mean when people don’t respond to my hard work on their behalf? “
To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow-elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve” (1 Peter 5: 1– 2).
What does the practice of the cross mean when I open my wallet?
“See that you also excel in this grace of giving … For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8: 7, 9).
What does the practice of the cross mean when I start to say, “I want my way”?
“Then [Jesus] said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26: 38– 39).
What does the practice of the cross mean when friends urge me to join them in sinful behavior? When I am tempted to sin?
“Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin … They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you …” (1 Peter 4: 1, 4).
What does the practice of the cross mean when you are mocked for your faith?
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Peter 4: 12– 14).
What does the practice of the cross mean when I find other Christians difficult to get along with?
“Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me’ … Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15: 2– 3, 7).
What does the practice of the cross mean when I get a position of authority?
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10: 43– 45).
What does the practice of the cross mean when I see other Christians in need?
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 John 3: 16– 17).
What does the practice of the cross mean when the dishes need to be washed at home?
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5: 25; see also 1 Peter 2: 18 – 3: 7).
Chester, Tim (2013-10-23). Ordinary Hero (Kindle Locations 654–624). The Good Book Company. Kindle Edition