Old rugged cross of Christ changed history, lives

Published 12:00am Saturday, March 23, 2013

There’s a story told of a British soldier during World War I who fled the battlefield and deserted his regiment one night. He headed for the coast to find a boat to England and ended up hopelessly lost, wandering around in the dark night.

The soldier came across what he thought was a signpost and began to climb it.  If he could read it, he might find out which direction to go. As he reached the top of the pole, he struck a match. The flicker of light revealed an unexpected sight.

He found himself looking into the face of Jesus Christ. Instead of a signpost, he had climbed up a roadside crucifix. Clinging to that cross, the soldier remembered that Christ had died for him. Christ had endured suffering and never turned back. The next morning the soldier returned to the trenches.

Oswald Chambers writes, “The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it.”  Chambers adds, “The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross.  The Cross is the center of time and of eternity.”

Christ changed the history of the world.  History is His story.  Everything has happened B.C. (before Christ) or A.D. (Anno Domini – Latin for “in the year of our Lord”) since His birth.  Someone once said, “You do not understand Christ, unless you understand the Cross.” Author John Bisagno states, “Christianity is a cross, and cross is ‘I’ crossed out.”

Theologian Andrew Murray has said, “As you gaze upon the cross, and long for conformity to him, be not weary or fearful because you cannot express in words what you seek. Ask him to plant the cross in your heart. Believe in him, the crucified and now living one, to dwell within you, and breathe his own mind there.”

The Apostle Paul put it this way, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” Galatians 2:20.

A.W. Tozer explains, “To be crucified means three things. First, the man who is crucified is facing only one direction…If he hears anything behind him he can’t turn around to see what’s going on.  He has stopped looking back.The crucified man on the cross is looking in only one direction and that is the direction of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit.”

While going through some personal spiritual troubles, George Bennard began to reflect on the meaning of the Cross and penned the words, “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame; and I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain.”

“The Cross of Christ is the heart of the Gospel,” according to evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. G. Campbell Morgan has said, “Nobody who has truly seen the Cross of Christ can ever again speak of hopeless cases.”

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Jan White is an award-winning religion columnist.  Her email address is jwhite@andycable.com.

 

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