The Cross

“Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others… As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God” (Galatians 6).

In Paul’s day, one of the most controversial, heated debates being thrashed about in the new Judeo-Christian world was in regards to the Christ followers’ requirement or non-requirement to be circumcised.

Prior to Calvary, the Jewish people were the people of God. To be saved, then, one had to become Jewish, which included certain external requirements like public baptism, circumcision, and adherence to dietary laws.

Since Jesus, the Messiah, came through that line, many wondered if there still was a requirement to become Jewish.

Paul’s response? A resounding “No.”

The only thing that mattered now, he would say, was the cross of Jesus Christ. Everything else was just background noise.

While the two thousand year old Christian world of today doesn’t really fight about matters of circumcision anymore, our present world does still disagree on all manner of topics.

Every four years or so we rediscover how aggressively true this is.

What Paul does is point the Christ followers to what is important –the cross.

The cross was the watershed experience in Paul’s life. The defining moment. The Continental Divide.

Everything changed as a result of that cross.

“Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died” (14).

This world has nothing for me. I have nothing for it. Just that cross. All the alluring things that promised hope, change, reform, salvation, apart from that cross, those things have been mortified in me.

I live only for that cross.

It’s everything to me.

 

Today is November 8th. Thank God. And as our worlds get back to order, as debates and hate and ideologies begin to subside,

what did you run to besides that cross?

how wrapped up in all this did you become?

are your interests in this world dead?

is the world’s interest in you dead too?

Because in the end, none of that stuff will matter.

 

“What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God” (16).

Father how we long for that coming day when you usher in Your new city. Until then, may we still act as your people. People who have been transformed into a new creation, who cling to nothing but the cross.

Thank You for that cross.

A cross meant to kill is my victory.

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