Beneath the Cross John 19:25 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Jn 19:25, three women stood by the cross. If you could stand beneath the cross like them, it would change you. Imagine what the cross did to God the Father, seeing his only begotten Son whom he forsook because of sin. Imagine if you were Mary seeing your son whom you loved hanging naked on the cross. Imagine if you were a disciple seeing your friend and companion with whom you spent every day for the past 3 ½ years. Imagine seeing an innocent man unjustly accused and beaten beyond recognition.
If I were standing beneath the cross, I wouldn’t believe it more than I do by faith, but I might appreciate it more. It might make more of an impression on me. That’s the effect that Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion” had on some folks. You need to stand beneath the cross. Take your stand beneath the cross because the cross yields:
Salvation – 1 Cor 1:18, 1 Cor 2:2 – the thief next to Jesus got saved when he saw Jesus hanging there [Lk 23:40-43]. When the centurion saw Jesus, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God,” [Mk 15:39]. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we see Barabbas in heaven. If “you” could just “get” what the cross means to you, you would get saved.
Contrition – Lk 23:27-28 – Jesus said, “weep for yourselves.” When you understand the cross, you humble yourself. We aren’t perfect and when we sin after getting saved, we come to Jesus with such contrition that we never want to sin again. In Ps 51:17, David said, “a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” He understood. Men who don’t understand the cross say things like, “What if you get saved and then go out and get drunk or commit some terrible sin?” That comes from a man who’s not standing beneath the cross. He doesn’t understand the contrition. When you take your place beneath the cross, your heart breaks when you disobey and disappoint the Lord. You can see his agony.
Devotion – Mk 8:34-37 – Jesus told his followers that a disciple must “take up his cross, and follow me.” In Gal 2:20, Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ.” When you stand beneath the cross, when you take your cross, you devote yourself to the Lord. You hit the cross between your will and his. You find yourself saying to the Lord, “Take the reins, Lord.” “Not my will but thine be done.” “We’re going your way, not mine, Lord.” You get sold out for the Lord.
Separation – Gal 6:14 – Paul talks about “the cross of our Lord Jess Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Turn your back on the world and turn to God. Growing up in church and getting saved young is the best to live. The trouble with this, though, is twofold. First, you have separation without suffering the consequences of sin. Those of us who have suffered for our sins want “no more.” Like 1 Pet 4:2-3 says, “he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Second, you often see separation without contrition and devotion. Your separation is more like a law that has been imposed on you rather than a separation that comes from your heart. Separate from the world because it is, indeed, evil. Know, by faith, as you are crucified with Christ, that you are crucified to the world and the world is crucified to you.
Persecution – Gal 5:11 – Paul said, “If I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.” The cross is offensive. They were mocking Jesus in Mk 15:30-32. They wanted him to come down from the cross. That’s what the world wants you to do to justify themselves [Gal 6:12]. But the Bible says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution [2 Tim 3:12]. The world will mock you; God will be pleased. Yet this is precisely why most Christians will live worldly.
Conclusion: Are you going to get saved? Christian, are you ever going to be contrite, devoted and separated? Will you run away from the cross to avoid the persecution? Take your stand beneath the cross and let the cross yield these things in your life.