Our Daily Devotions this week run alongside our new series on a Sunday called, “The Message of the Cross”
The Following is from “Pilgrims Progress” it shows the Power of the Cross. There stood a Cross, and a little below in the bottom, a sepulcher. So I saw in my Dream, that just as Christian came up with the Cross, his Burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the Sepulcher, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. … Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said with a merry heart, He hath given me rest by his sorrow, and life by his death. Then he stood still a while to look and wonder; for it was very surprising to him, that the sight of the Cross should thus ease him of his Burden.
What is the Message of the Cross?
To understand sacrifice we first have to understand “sin”
The normal Greek word for “sin,” namely “hamartia”, means “missing the mark”: shooting at a target and failing to hit it.
This is subtly but importantly different from being given a long and fussy list of things you must and mustn’t do and failing to observe them all.
In the story the Bible is telling, humans were created for a purpose, and Israel was called for a purpose, and the purpose was not simply “to keep the rules,” “to be with God,” or “to go to heaven,” as you might suppose. Humans were made to be “image-bearers,” to reflect the praises of creation back to the Creator and to reflect the Creator’s wise and loving stewardship into the world. Israel was called to be the royal priesthood, to worship God and reflect his rescuing wisdom into the world.
Humans are made to worship the God who created them in his own image and so to be sustained and renewed in that image-bearing capacity. Humans are designed to function like angled mirrors. We are created in order to reflect the worship of all creation back to the Creator and by that same means to reflect the wise sovereignty of the Creator into the world. Human beings, worshipping their Creator, were thus the intended key to the proper flourishing of the world.
The purpose of the cross is to take us back, from where we presently are, to that intended goal.
We will discovering how that happens throughout the devotions this week.