Connected through the Cross

Louise Gevers

“This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for our brothers!”1 John 3:16

We all love to be accepted and to belong. Sharing things with others can help us to discover who we are and make us feel valued. This starts with being born into a family. It’s where we first belong and learn our values and social standards. So unsurprisingly we didn’t expect to see instructions about such things on a train, while travelling in another country. The powers that be had used public transport to promote general hygiene principles which would connect the people who had settled there from various countries.

This wisdom also applies to spiritual things. As Christians, connected through the cross, we experience exactly that. It doesn’t matter who we are, which country we’ve come from, which language we speak, or what colour we are because we belong to Christ and through Him we belong sacrificially to one other. Man-made divisions and prejudices are not valid in the Kingdom of God, or in the lives of His children, but God’s commands are. “What he commands is that we believe in his son Jesus Christ and love one another ...” (1 John 3:23) Jesus was perfectly connected to His Father and set the example for us to follow to do the same. Jesus lived His principles. If we are His followers we should too.

The impact of the cross is awe-inspiring in its transforming and uniting power. What was once an instrument of cruel death now signifies new life, hope, liberation and the eternal bringing together of all people in the world for whom it has meaning. Rebirth and everlasting life are accessible to all who come to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. We belong to Him and we belong through Him.

Paul’s words encourage us: “Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.  Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another.” (Romans 12:9-10)This can’t be just theory.

Being connected by the cross enables us to view others through the eyes of Christ. He actually died, for us all. What greater proof of love could there be?  Instead of discriminating against others we should give of ourselves sacrificially for them in the way that He did for us, and remember that even while in agony on the cross Jesus said: “Father, forgive them! They don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Prayer: Father, there can be no greater love than this. Please forgive me for not understanding the impact of my sin and for failing You so often. When I battle to love others, help me to look at the cross where Jesus suffered and died for me. May I remember His example, and follow it. In His name I ask this. Amen.

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