The CROSS Examination :: Place of Surety

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine surety. God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ [Jesus] died for us (Romans 5:8-9). John 19:31-37 is not only a fulfillment of the prophecy of God’s salvation but it also establishes the fact that Jesus died for us on the Cross. In other words, the Cross is the commendation of God’s love toward us.

We can be sure of this, that God’s love so binding that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from it. Neither death nor, life (Physical aspects), nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers (Spiritual aspects), nor things present, nor things to come (Temporal aspects), nor height, nor depth (Spatial aspects), nor any other creation (all other aspects of creation) can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).

Jesus told the penitent malefactor from his own Cross, “Verily, verify, I say unto you. Today, thou shalt be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43).  In other words, Jesus was affirming the truth and its surety, that the penitent sinner, who recognized Jesus as Lord (Luke 23:42), which we get from the way he changes his address of Jesus, was guaranteed his salvation, from the Cross on which Jesus died.

Let us cross examine ourselves and make sure that we have recognized Jesus as Lord as well. For all who are in Christ Jesus, walking after the Spirit of God (and not after our own flesh), can be sure of His Salvation (Romans 8:1). There is only love (inseparable God’s love) commended from the Cross. There is no condemnation that comes from it (Romans 8:1).

Romans 5:8-9 (KJV)
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Settlement

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine settlement. When one is born into the world, they are born into a world that is sinful and subject to its power.  They are born into a world with the overarching arm of the law that aims to penalize those who are guilty of breaking it.

Sin aims to gain mastery and rule over the residents of this world but the Bible prescribes that we must rule over it (Genesis 4:7). Yet we sin and become guilty according to the law. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). The law obligates that the wages of our sin be paid. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). But thanks be to God, that on the Cross, the sin-debt was paid in full (John 19:30) and nailed to it (Colossians 2:14). When Jesus said from the Cross, “Tetelastai”, it is rendered as “It is finished”, but this word is used in business transactions to mean “Paid in Full”. In other words, Jesus Christ took the letter of the law; the obligations that were imposed on each of us, and nailed it to the cross, blotting it (settling the sin-debt) once and for all.

The lyrics of one of the stanzas of the song, “Before the throne of God Above” beautifully accentuates this fact that our sin-debt has been nailed to the Cross and blotted out in its entirety. The lyrics go as “Because a sinless Savior died, my guilty soul is counted free. For God the just is satisfied. To look on Him (Jesus Christ) and pardon me.

The Cross is the place of divine settlement. Our sin-debt was paid for in full. So when the Just God and Holy Father, looks at me, He does not see in my sinful state or my past sins, but instead as one that is pardoned and set free from the ordinances of the condemning law.

Has you sin-debt be dealt with? In other words, have you believed in Jesus Christ, who settled our score paying the wages of our sin with his life, dying on the Cross, wherein He nailed our sin-debt. Let us cross examine ourselves and settle with Him, who settled for us, so that we may be able to settle with God eternally.

Colossians 2:13-14 (KJV)
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Strength

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine strength . The Bible says the “Joy of the LORD is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). What is the joy of the LORD? The Bible has the answer to that question as well. The Prophet Isaiah records that it was the LORD’s delight (joy) to bruise Jesus Christ, His Only begotten Son, so that by His death would be the offering for our sin (Isaiah 53:10). This would imply that the Joy of the LORD was indeed the CROSS on which Jesus paid for our sins with His life. But what is Strength then? One of the word that the Thesaurus suggests in place of the word ‘strength’ is the word ‘Power’. In other words, the Joy of the LORD is our strength can be rephrased as “The CROSS is our POWER”. The Apostle Paul, in his address to the Church in Corinth, states this aptly, when he says, that the preaching of the cross to those that perish is foolishness, but to them that are saved, it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).

The CROSS of Christ Jesus is a place of Strength.

Let us cross examine ourselves and let us joy in the CROSS which is the power of God, made manifest to mankind. Are you perishing or have you been saved? All of us who are weak and heavy laden, can cling to the Cross of Jesus Christ, from which flows, God’s power i.e., divine strength.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV)
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Surrender

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine surrender. It is the Cross the submission of Jesus Christ , the Son of God, to God’s will for the Salvation of mankind (Matthew 26:39), culminates into total surrender (Philippians 2:8). It is the Cross, where Jesus Christ, who being God, made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form of a man, and humbled Himself to becoming a dead man (not dead God), on the Cross, so that the sons and daughters of men (i.e., you and me) could live; live abundantly in His grace and eternally in His glory.

Let us cross examine ourselves and let our submissions of part of our lives be total surrender of our very life to and for Him. Let it be said of us, that “For to us to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Let us totally surrender to Jesus Christ, the God who surrendered His all, including His very life, being obedient to the point of death, even death on a Cross. Can you show me of another who has done the same for you/me?

Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 26:38-39 (KJV)
Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Safety

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine safety. As the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, they come to the land of Edom where they start to grumble against Moses and God by expressing that they were brought to die in the wilderness and that they detested the provision of heavenly food that God had given to them, calling it miserable. So God sent in their midst, venomous snakes that bit the people and many died. The people repented and Moses pleaded with God praying that the LORD take the snakes away from the people. The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a brass serpent and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the serpent of brass, they lived.

This typifies the coming of Christ Jesus many years later. The poison of sin kills. And until one lift up their eyes and sees the Cross (similar to the pole) on which the Son of God, Jesus Christ was brandished by the wrath (heat) of God, the poison of sin will kill them, but all who look up at the Cross and see Jesus Christ, believing in their heart that He took their place on the Cross, paying the penalty of their sin, will be safe from the wrath of God. The altar of burnt offerings for the judgment of sin, was an altar made of brass (Exodus 39:39; 1 Kings 8:64). The altar on which God dealt judging sin was the Cross.

The Cross is a place of safety for all to run to, lest they be consumed by the wrath of God. Only at the foot of the Cross, is divine safety.

Let us cross examine ourselves and ensure that we have raised our eyes and looked at the Son of God, so that we may live. If you have not yet done so, I beseech you, that you do. Look at Jesus and believe in Him, so that you are safe under the protection of the Holy Son of God, Jesus Christ.

John 3:14-16 (KJV)
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Satisfaction

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine satisfaction. To satisfy is to please so that one is content. Jesus’ sacrifice is the only acceptable sacrifice that satisfies God, because after His abnegating self-sacrifice on the Cross, there is no more the need to sacrifice (Hebrews 10:18).  The writer to the Hebrews records that in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin God hast had no pleasure (Hebrews 10:6) but the prophet Isaiah records that it pleased the Lord to bruise Him, talking about Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:10). Though this at face value may seem like the Lord is insensitive or even cruel, deeper analysis of the Scripture, reveals a hidden treasure, that God was pleased, because Jesus willingly laid down His life as an expression of God’s love (John 10:17-18) for the world (John 3:16).  Jesus’ laying down of His life on His own accord (John 10:18) pleased God to His contentment.

Let us cross examine ourselves and lay our lives down, as did Jesus Christ, so that God is pleased and satisfied and content with us.

John 10:17-18 (KJV)
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Hebrews 10:1-18 (KJV)
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Sanctification

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is a place of divine sanctification. To absolve, anoint, bless, cleanse, consecrate, dedicate, deify, enshrine, glorify, hallow, purify, set apart and worship are some of the Thesaurus words used to describe the word ‘sanctify’. As a verb (implying action), the word sanctify means to hold in highest esteem.

God held his creation (man) at the highest esteem, and sent His Son who shed his blood on the Cross, to sanctify mankind. Jesus’ blood sanctifies and sets us apart! (Hebrews 13:12).

Let us cross examine ourselves and sanctify Jesus Christ apart by setting Him and holding Him in the highest esteem. Can it be said of you/me, that we sanctify (set apart) God.

Hebrews 13:12 (KJV)
12 Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Sacrifice

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine sacrifice. But what does the word ‘sacrifice’ mean? Many sadly use the word ‘sacrifice’ flippantly, without a true understanding of its meaning or what it demands.

To give up, let go, loss, and denial are some of the other words that are used to define the word sacrifice. Jesus had to give up or let go of his divinity for humanity (Philippians 2:6-7). He had to lose His life on the Cross so that He could gain eternal life for all who believe in Him (John 3:16). He had to deny the pleasures of heaven so that he could have communion with you and me, whom he deemed the treasures of the earth He created (Exodus 19:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Colossians 1:17). God had to deny (forsake) His Only begotten Son (Matthew 27:46) so that He would not be forced (due to His Just Holiness) to deny you and me, for sin (Belial) can have no communion with Holiness (Christ) (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

Let us cross examine ourselves and give up and let go of the things that brings displeasure to God. Let us give up and let go of our humanity so that we can live as royalty; sons and daughters of the King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Peter 2:9). Let us lose our lives so that we can save it (Luke 17:33). Let us deny the pleasures of this earth so that we can have communion with Jesus, who is the hidden treasure in us; jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7).  Let us lay our life as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) at the foot of His Cross, the place of sacrifice.

Luke 17:33 (KJV)
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The CROSS Examination :: Place of Substitution

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place of divine substitution where God exchanged our sin for His sinless Son, imputing His Holy righteousness for our filthy rag-like righteousness. While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). A fair exchange is one where the items being exchanged are of equitable value. Christ’s death for us demands our death (to self and sin) for Him. Christ’s life for us demands our life for Him.

Let us cross examine ourselves and live in a manner befitting a fair exchange, not shortchanging God, wherein, the lives we live for ourselves is substituted with one where we live for Him. Let us lay our all at the foot of His Cross, the place of substitution.

Romans 5:8 (KJV)
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

The CROSS examination :: Place of Sentence

The CROSS on which Jesus Christ was nailed is the place where divine sentence which was given as a punishment against mankind, was carried out. The Bible states that a divine sentence is in the lips of the king; his mouth transgresseth not in judgment (Proverbs 16:10). The wages of man’s sin is death; which is the sentence that a Holy and Just God had to give (Romans 6:23). The Cross was where this divine sentence was carried out, but instead of us (malefactors and enemies of God), it was God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty of our sin, with His life.

Let us cross examine ourselves and be thankful to Jesus Christ, because of whom, we do not need to be where we should have been; on the Cross, carrying out the sentence of God.

Isaiah 53:3-6 (KJV)
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.