Near The Cross :: By Dennis Huebshman

Galatians 6:14, “But far be it from me to boast, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (ESV – all emphasis mine)

Next, 1 Corinthians 1:18, “for the word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”

Philippians 2:5-11, “Have this in mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in Heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus stated in Matthew 10:38, Mark 8:34, and Luke 9:23 that whoever would not take up their cross and follow Him would not be worthy of His sacrifice for all of us. Paul stated in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

From the sound of the above verses, one might believe that to be a part of our Great Shepherd’s flock, we would have to live a perfect and totally sinless life to be worthy of having an eternal home with Him. As a disclaimer to this, our Heavenly Father has known all along that no other human that would ever live on this earth could be absolutely sin-free.

Even though our Savior came in human form, His blood was not contaminated by any other human, including Mary and Joseph. If Jesus had sinned even once, His sacrifice for us would have been worthless, as God could only accept perfection.

For all the rest of us humans, first, there’s Romans 3:10, “As it is written, none is righteous, no not one.” Then Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” And Romans 6:23 concludes with, “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The action each of us must do is to honestly admit that we are sinners and that without Jesus, we are lost forever. We must believe and accept that Jesus came to this earth on our behalf and made the perfect sacrifice that none of us could ever accomplish. He died as a human, yet was raised from the dead by our Heavenly Father as our only means to conquer sin and death. All who call out to the Savior to forgive them and be their Savior forever will be saved.

There are not “many ways” to heaven, as some false prophets would like for you to believe. John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 tell us that Jesus is the only way to the Father and eternal life.

By receiving and accepting His Son, the Father has provided us the means of being redeemed when, not if, we sin. In 1 John 1:9, we’re told, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Even before Jesus appeared on this earth, the Father was preparing the means that believers could receive forgiveness. Psalm 103:10-12, “He does not deal with us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”

In Isaiah 11 and 53, the prophet speaks of one who would come that was from the line of Jesse, King David’s father, who would be “smitten by God and afflicted” and also “crushed for our iniquities.” This prophecy was made at least seven hundred years before the birth of the Savior.

Our Savior knew exactly why He was here and what His ultimate mission was. His sacrifice could have been accomplished in numerous ways other than by death on a cross. The tremendous abuse He received prior to being nailed to that terrible instrument of death actually caused death for some before they could be crucified. Our Savior was weakened to the point that the Romans made another person carry His cross to the hill of Golgotha.

Two points are given in John 10 that the Savior made known to His disciples. First, in John 10:16, we’re told that He was not here only for the Jewish people; “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd.” He was letting them know He was here for everyone worldwide who would accept Him.

Then, in verses 17-18, “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”

We are not to worship any cross or anything else in the place of Our Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, when we see a cross, it should be a reminder of the most perfect gift we could ever receive from our Heavenly Father, through the sinless blood of His Son.

In 1869, Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) wrote a Hymn titled “Near The Cross.” She didn’t go into the mechanics of a crucifixion but told of the significance of what our Savior provided for us.

1.) Jesus, keep me near the cross; there a precious fountain, free to all a healing stream, flows from Calvary’s mountain.

Ref) In the cross, in the cross, be my glory ever, till my ransomed soul shall find rest beyond the River.

2.) Near the cross a trembling soul, love and mercy found me; there the bright and Morning Star shed His beams around me. (ref)

3.) Near the cross, Oh Lamb Of God, bring its scenes before me. Help me walk from day to day, with its shadow o’re me. (ref)

4.) Near the cross I’ll watch and wait, hoping, trusting ever, till I reach the golden strand, just beyond the River. (ref)

Please remember that all who receive and accept Jesus as their Savior will have a Home with Him forever.

All who were out of the will of God prior to Calvary and all who will have rejected Jesus from the cross to the end of this earth will be separated from Him forever. God made a lake of fire as preparation for Satan and his fallen angels (Matthew 25:41). All humans that pass from this earth without Jesus will join the devil and his demons in that lake of total darkness, and with no relief from their punishment forever.

Please consider what our beloved Savior gave so that we could have an eternal Home with Him. We are all sinners, as stated above, but God loves us so much that He made sure everyone would have the means of being with Him. We can’t earn this by work or in any way buy it; it’s a gift that we must receive and accept. Romans 10:9-13 gives the steps for this.

It’s totally a free-will choice each and every one of us must make: Heaven with Jesus, or hell with Satan. God will not force anyone either way but will honor whatever decision we make. Today would not be too early to call on the Shepherd to add us to His precious flock. Tomorrow could be too late, as we’re not promised another day here.

The Savior will take your call at any time if you will just do so.

Shalom! Come, Lord Jesus!

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