Pastor Chris White
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” –1 John 3:1-2
The Cross of Jesus has multiple implications for everyone, but in this series I have focused our thoughts 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 was Shalom. In the Bible, the Shalom of God speaks of well-being, wholeness, soundness, completeness, harmony, and tranquility. The second peace the cross brings to us is relief. When you are forgiven by God there is no more guilt and condemnation. The third “Peace of the Cross” is validation. Validation is the idea that you are important. You are important enough to God that he sent his son to die that you might live. If that be true, you really do count for something in this world.
The fourth and final peace of the Cross is enlightenment. The opposite of enlightenment in the Bible is living in the darkness and futility of worldly thinking: following the wrong gods, pursuing the wrong goods, achieving the wrong ends.
Virtually every religion and philosophy on earth seeks to explain three things: who am I? what am I here for? Where am I going? The degree to which these questions are answered is the actual degree of satisfaction and enlightenment a religion or philosophy offers.
Just a side note, satisfaction with an answer is no guarantee of truth. You might find great satisfaction with the idea that the human race was seeded here by aliens from another galaxy millions of years ago or that we are descended from the invisible people that live under Mt. Shasta California in a secret subterranean city, but that doesn’t make it truth. Truth is its own thing. And truth corresponds to reality. But real truth will satisfy.
That said, the cross does give us the peace of enlightenment.
Who are you? Why are you here? Where are you going? 1 John 3:2-3 (see above) speaks to this end. Where are we going? What will be the ultimate end? We can say heaven is our end, but heaven is being with the Lord. We are children of God and our end is to be with him and to share in his glory. Because this is our future, we are live like this in the present. That’s why you are here now. To learn and grow in this reality. St. Athanasius said the reason Christ became man was so that man might become like Christ. As John states it, we only know this dimly and vaguely in our lives now, but we know the end for which we were made, to be sons of God in the image of Christ.
In the final analysis, I think the three questions: who am I, what am I here for, and where am I going are answered best in Christ. What becomes most important though is not remembering who I am, but whose I am. We belong to Christ because he purchased us with his blood on the cross and that makes all the difference.
May you attain to all the Lord wants you to be,
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.