What Is the Cross really all about?
I could barely put forth what the Cross really is all about—and there are many other greater writings about this topic—-and I want to stress that this topic is of utmost importance in our Christian life and journey—one that I wish I had understood a lot sooner. One that I believe is meant to be understood right at the start of the New Life in Christ—-for without the understanding of the Cross, and what it means to us—- we can not go on with the Lord or grow spiritually.
The Cross & Surrender
And it all begins with complete surrender to the Lord. The whole Christian life begins at the Cross of Christ where we must come to the place where we take the position in Christ that in ourselves, we are dead (Romans 6). We must recognize that when Christ died, we died with him, and when He rose, we rose in Him, and there is now a new creation in Christ. It is an altogether new life that we did not have before. Our old man is dead, and we are a new creation in Christ. The beginning is accepting this fact by faith, and trusting in Christ to have died in your place, and that you have died with Him, and rose in Him to new life.
This is where we surrender our life to Him, because we see that before God, in the sight of God—- our natural life is dead and in the grave. It can not stand before God. We can bring nothing to God that is of value in ourselves. The whole human race was taken on by Jesus as He stood in our place as sinful man, and paid the price to make the way unto God through His Blood on the Cross. Now, in Christ, there is a new race—– a Divine order—-and when we are born from above, we are alive in Christ in the new man, the kind of man that is of God, and that has the senses to see, hear, taste, and feel God. It is no longer just the physical senses of earth—-of sight, sound, taste, etc. Now, we are alive unto God in the Spirit, and we come to know Him through these entirely new faculties of the spirit.
The Cross is about laying aside ENTIRELY a whole order of humanity that can never, will never, and was never what God intended it to be. It is dead in His sight. And Christ stands in our place at the right hand of God as an earnest of what we shall be. He sees Christ in us. He sees the end already.
The Cross Is Worked Out
The Cross governs our new life in Christ. It is a main thing that is always governing our very life. We experience the Cross working out in us when we experience painful trials, hardship, suffering, and troubles. Paul said that they were “always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body” 2 Cor. 4:10. That is what the Cross does—-it puts to death in us what is not of God, in order to make room for what is of God in Christ. In other words, we decrease as He increases! We no longer live out from our natural life—-we live out from the Life of God through Christ in the Spirit.
When we are born from above, it is as if we have to learn a whole new life from the beginning. We have spent our earthly life already learning the ways of this world in the flesh—-but now it is time to learn the ways of God, and put away all the ways we once knew in the flesh. And the way this is done is by the Cross working in us by the Holy Spirit. It is not an abstract thing, or some idea, or something out there in space we can not see. The working of the Cross in us is practical in our everyday lives.
Marriage—A Tool in God’s Hand
I see marriage as a tool in God’s hand to apply the principle of the Cross in our hearts and lives. Marriage is to be a representation of Christ and the Church, and the main point to wives is to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord. This is tells us a lot about God’s ways and thoughts. Men have their own brand of the Cross working out in their life unto self-less love—but for now, I am only focusing on the wife’s brand of the Cross.
Before marriage, there is some sort of independence which may include things like:
- having your own job/$
- having your own car
- having your own friends
- having time to do what you would like to do
- freedom to make your own decisions about your time/$/job
But then when we get married, things change. You still retain your own life and choices, but the Cross begins to operate in your heart and life in your marriage because God has a way of things, and if you belong to Him, he will see that His Spirit teaches you His ways in all things.
Ways The Cross Has Been Working Out In My Marriage:
- I gave up my job in order to be financially provided for by my husband—I am dependent on Him to work and provide for all of our needs (Ultimately, I am dependent on God to provide a way for my husband to provide)
- I gave up my life where I was in every aspect in order to take on a whole new life with my husband, where I had a new role in life, a new place to live, and a new way of doing things
- I am giving up my self-protective controlling behaviors as God shows me that I am not responsible for my husband’s choices, world problems, or anything that is out of my control—I am learning to trust God alone.
- I give up my desire to control every decision in my marriage, and learn to trust that my husband is the God-given leader and I can trust God to lead me through him (I still share my own opinions, desires, and what I think we should do in a situation, but I don’t force my way to happen anymore)
- I give up my desires that my husband does not agree with, and trust that if those desires are God’s will, then God can change my husband’s heart and align it with mine, if not—that’s ok and I trust God ultimately
- I gave up my last name that I got from my parents, and changed it to my husband’s last name
- I give up my selfish desires and learn how to love the way God desires me to love
- I give up lying/being fake if something is wrong in our marriage, and stand up for the truth according to God’s word
- I give up trying to be perfect in order to earn my husband’s love and accept that I will never be able to do that, realizing that love is a free gift or it is nothing
- I give up trying to please my husband and instead seek only to please God in the way I live
- I give up the way I think marriage should be, and seek to have a marriage according to God’s word
- I give up idolizing feeling loved and having a perfect marriage and seek to be satisfied in God alone
- I give up my desire to “save” my husband and let him suffer for his choices naturally
- I give up my way of dressing, and seek to honor my husband and God and my self by how I dress
The main point in all of this is that God is putting away one way of things—one kind of person—and bringing in a whole new one! And that is the picture I see of what marriage is. New name, new place, new role in life, different ways of thinking, different ways of dressing, different priorities—– And it is the same in our life as a Christian—– when we accept that our old man is dead, and we are now alive and a new creation in Christ, we take on a whole new identity, and we begin to live in a different way, and over time, all the ways and things we used to do life are being put to death by the Cross as a principle—- and it makes room for the life of Christ that is in us to shine forth!
Beauty comes. There is freedom in surrender whether to Jesus as Lord, or in marriage to your husband because you no longer have to realize your own life. You no longer have to live independently, relying on your self. Your old self is dead, and you have taken on a new name. And in that new life, you are provided for, and you have only to trust and rely on the Lord completely.