The View from the Cross

Luke 14:27 – Whoever doesn’t carry their own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (CEB)

The point that Jesus has come to rescue all humanity is not at issue here. The fullness of God’s love is found fully in the face of Christ. The question is, of the large crowds “traveling with” Jesus (vs. 25), who “comes to follow” Him (vs. 26)? The issue at hand concerns the contrast between human religion and the faith of Christ; in taking everything we can get and giving everything we have to give; church as a self-serving point of view or as a self-sacrificing worldview (vs. 27). It is the religious nature in us which causes us to ignore (or, to be ignorant of) the fact that we will even attempt to use Jesus for our own self-satisfaction (vs. 28-33). The point is that all humanity (whether we know it or not) “travels with” Jesus, enjoying the benefit of His life. But who “comes to follow” Him, reaping the benefit of His life supply for living?

In 1Corinthians Paul points out an obvious contrast between, what he terms, “fleshly” and “spiritual” Christians (3:1-3a). Both sets are “Christians” (3: 12-15) but, for Paul, one set is human religion built on the death-altar of the human-self and the other is the faithfulness of Christ built on the killing Cross of Christ (3:3b-11). Likewise, Jesus states that you had better calculate carefully to make sure that you can complete the construction of the tower you are attempting to build (vs. 28). Otherwise, when it becomes clear that you can never reach God with your own religious efforts, the fallacy of your building project is self-evident (vs. 29-30). The view from the cross is a finished worldview; a completed tower between heaven and earth.

Paul continues to explain that humanity is the temple of God; the church, emptied of its self-religion and filled with the faithfulness of Christ, owning everything because everything belongs to Christ and Christ belongs to God (1Cor. 3:16-23). Likewise, our human religion is faced with a superior force. We need to send a representative to discuss terms of peace before it is too late (vs. 31-32). Representing humanity Christ has brought peace with God. The terms: Surrender of our own religion, being supplied with the Faith of Christ; owners of everything, belonging to Christ as Christ belongs to God. This peace is unconditional. However, enjoying this peace is conditioned by our own view from the Cross of Christ (vs. 33).

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