Pastor Chris White
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. –Ephesians 5:1-2
The Cross of Jesus has multiple implications for everyone, but in this series I have been focusing on ways the cross speaks to our mind and heart. I call this “the Four Peaces of the cross,” because ultimately each of these, when embraced, bring us to a resting place of peace, a peace that surpasses all understanding.
The first peace we considered was Shalom. In the Bible, the Shalom of God speaks of well-being, wholeness, soundness, completeness, harmony, and tranquility. The Lord said peace I give to you. It is not the peace of favorable circumstances, but a peace from a new heart. The second peace of the cross brings is relief from guilt. When you are forgiven by God there is no more guilt or condemnation.
The third “Peace of the Cross” is validation. Validation is the idea that you are important. You count for something in this world. To have this missing in your life is to have a hole in your heart. Many of us were fortunate to have this in our family of origin where we were given confidence because our achievements and aspirations were celebrated and championed. It sent a message: you do count for something.
The converse is also true. Some of us were given the message, either directly or in ways unspoken, that we somehow don’t measure up. And what do you do with that? You either wear yourself out in a lifelong attempt at proving this wrong or you build an identity around being a failure; both of which entail a lot of stress even if in different forms.
The peace the cross brings to us is that we do count for something in this world and that we are important to our very Creator.
The very basis of the command for us to love and seek the best for each other (see Eph. 5:1-2 above), is because we ourselves were important enough and loved so much that Christ sacrificed himself to save us. If someone is of concern to God, as a Christian, they should be of concern to me and you as well.
Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you (Jn. 15:13-15).” In the cross you are validated as a person because you really are important to God. Important enough that he would consider a friend of his son to be one of his friends.
That is some amazing news.
You are good enough because He is in you!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.