Near the Cross

  • Nov. 6, 2014
  • #8484

Keeping near the Cross of Christ helps us put sin to death and see lasting change in our lives.

Near the Cross

This is Joni Eareckson Tada with a favorite hymn about the cross...      

In the Cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o‘er the wrecks of time;
All the lights of sacred story,
Gathers ‘round its head sublime.*

Yes, I do love singing about the cross! And it makes me think, and I want you to think about this too: Jesus never enjoyed much elbow room during His public ministry. There was always a multitude; there were always people pushing and shoving to get close. When He taught in the temple, there was hardly space to breathe. When He taught in a home, people stood wall-to-wall, spilling out into the front yard and hanging from the roof. And when He tried to escape the crowd in a boat, He went to the other side of the lake and dropped anchor only to find another crowd awaiting Him. Then there was that time He was in the street with a throng of people pressing up against Him; one woman with an issue of blood reached out and touched Him and when He asked, “Who touched me?” His disciples couldn’t believe it. “Everyone is touching you,” they answered. Then there’s that passage about His coming and going from Jericho, it says that great crowds followed Him. And when He was out in the countryside, 5,000 people crowded up against Him on the hill, and on a different hill, 4,000 – so many people, so many elbowing their way to get close. No room for Jesus – His life even began that way in Bethlehem’s crowded inn.

 However, there was one place where Jesus had more than enough room; more than enough space. It was a place where nobody wanted to get near. Nobody was clamoring to approach Him or touch Him. Nobody was shoving to get close to Him. No one wanted a ringside seat. Just where was this place? It was on the hill of Calvary. There was plenty of room near the cross.

 And sadly, it's true today. Many of us are happy to keep an arm’s length distance from the Cross; we are too satisfied to remain at a safe distance from the place of crucifixion. Yet if we are to see real and lasting change in our lives, if we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin, if we are to put to death sin in our lives, it requires keeping near the Cross. And I love the words to that old hymn,

Near the cross! O Lamb of God, Bring its scenes before me;
Help my walk from day to day with its shadows o'er me.
In the cross, in the cross, Be my glory ever,
‘Till my raptured soul shall find rest, beyond the river.**

I want you to pray with me today:

Lord Jesus, You were tormented that I might be comforted. You were ma click upload de a shame that I might inherit glory. You entered darkness that I might have eternal light. Oh, Lord Jesus, keep me near your cross this day. Don’t let me stay at arm’s length distance from it. Help me to daily take up my cross and die to the sins that you died for on your cross. Praise you for dying that I might live forever! I pray all this in your Holy name, Jesus, Amen.     

* Song: “ In the Cross of Christ I Glory” by John Bowring, Public Domain.

** Song: “Near the Cross” by Frances J. Crosby, Public Domain.

© Joni and Friends


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