In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
While on a recent trip to Haiti, the team was given a fun team building assignment. We camped for the week at Camp De La Grace through Hosean International Ministries. The team was broken into 4 groups and each group was assigned a room for the week. Each room was given the task to decorate their doors with the theme for each day we would teach. Our group was given the theme: Jehovah Jireh, God our provider and God our salvation. It just so happen that our room was housed by a group who was all challenged in the area of artistic creativity. So our door design ended up with a big brown cross covering the entire door. The leaders would then deliberate as to which room artistically communicated the theme of the day the best. Knowing we did not stand a chance in the competition, the competitive person that I am just had to make the case why our room was the best design. So I began a very southern Baptist sermon on the cross; after all who can compete with the cross preached by a southern Baptist preacher. So I preached:
Healing is at the cross
Deliverance is at the cross
Salvation is at the cross
Joy is at the cross
Forgiveness is at the cross
Success is at the cross...
Others from our group chimed in comedically:
Your dinner is at the cross
Clean water is at the cross
Flushing toilet is at the cross
Your Mosquito net is at the cross...
Have we made our case that our door should win; not only is it the best design (lie) but it preaches a powerful message!
We had a great laugh over our sermons on the cross. It was so catchy that we would often repeat it over the course of the week.
But throughout the week I started thinking; with all jokes aside, what exactly is the big hoopla over the cross??? What is its significance in the year 2012 over my life and my current situations?
I will do my best to spare you a southern Baptist sermon but as one who practically grew up with a bible in her hand, I often forget the significance of the cross in my life. I often forget that the cross stands for the ultimate sacrifice a person can make for another. It is the sacrifice of giving up EVERYTHING so that the other might have EVERYTHING good in life. Even in dying for that other person. I often try to think of our human relationships that could possibly mirror such a sacrifice; the closest similarity is a mother’s love for her children. But even in the moments of loving our children selflessly, if truth be told, we often find ourselves grumbling, tired of their constant dirty diapers and other messes and constantly wondering “God is this all you created for me to do?” There IS NO greater love than a God, Jesus, laying down His life not just for the righteous but particularly for the unrighteous, the guilty, those who deserve punishment, ME. I know my human mind can't fathom that kind of love either.
That’s the big HOOPLA with the Cross!!! What a perfect example for us to follow!!! Say what you want about Jesus but you cannot say this God/Man did not exemplify what he preached.
For me, the CROSS means great news!!!! Because Jesus gave up EVERYTHING, I now have an opportunity to experience a meaningful life. Thank you Jesus for the Cross!
Now Back to my sermon:
My smile is because of the CROSS
My ability to live victoriously is because of the Cross
My love is because of the cross
My power and strength are because of the cross
My sanity is because of the cross
My love for the poor is because of the cross
My ability to forgive those who have wronged me is because of the CROSS
Giving to those in need is because of the cross
Living life without worry is because of the cross
Not holding on to resentment is because of the Cross
Can I get an AMEN!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Jesus for your Sacrifice on the Cross!!!!