"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV
Many have been told to leave their troubles at the foot of the cross and through misunderstandings try very diligently to do so. Again, I can say I am guilty.
I took my place in prayer and envisioned the cross-empty- as Jesus is no longer there, and placed my burdens at the base of it and when my prayer was over, I envisioned myself walking away empty handed... How many of us do this, and some go further to envision Jesus still at the cross and lay their burdens at His feet!
This reminds me of a grave-site visit. One approaches the headstone of their loved one to place some remnant of themselves behind as if to say "I was here." thinking that this may appease the one in the ground. Sometimes one may engage in a one-sided conversation oblivious to the understanding that their loved one isn't there. At least not in spirit.
Jesus is no where near the cross. He isn't lingering and if one approaches their prayers in this way guaranteed there is a reason why God is not answering- He's not there!
Jesus Christ is alive and is in heaven sitting at the right hand of God. He is not at the cross, and he does not return to it pick up our woes. He can't!
The cross if the finished works of Christ. There is nothing more that can be done. It is our teachers who try to simplify God's word without explaining in explicit detail of their intended meaning that causes us to slip ever so gently further and further from God's truth.
The Cross is empty!
Everything was made complete at his death and resurrection. And when we speak of the cross we are speaking of what Jesus Christ did there. It is the act that Jesus did on the cross that speak volumes to a believer and never should we place our faith in anything other than this. And Jesus should never be separated from the cross in the sense that He could not have died in any other way. The cross was the perfect chosen means.
"By calling this covenant "new" he has made the first one obsolete, and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." Hebrews 8:13 NIV
The cross was a tool for persecution and it was the only way that God could have Jesus become the perfect sacrifice to have the final say against sin and victory over it all together.
"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross." Colossians 2:13-14 NIV
"And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Colossians 2:15 NIV
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right had of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2 NIV
The blood shed of Christ was a replacement of the sacrifice and bloodshed of the animals as needed to fulfill the old law. This law was under a curse, and that curse was sin. Sin is what separates man from God. Always.
"Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the son, who has been made perfect forever."
Hebrews 7:27-28 NIV
The cross of Christ causes offense, because some Christians say(and rightly so) "Jesus died for me." This is a statement of truth, but many neglect to find out why, and exactly what the cross means and this is where we can easily fail in our faith. It becomes a stumbling block because of our ineptitude.
Suicide prevents one from focusing and believing in the cross and deceives the believer into thinking that the promise is futile because the belief that "Jesus died for me" no longer works!
Suicide is banking on a believer not knowing and the depths of despair convince one to believe a falsehood that the cross is not as effective today as it was originally. That is because the cross and its teaching has been watered down and cannot stand up against the veracity of God's word!
The word of God has changed not, and Jesus is the same as he was yesterday, today and forever more! The cross even though it stands empty, it has not and never will loose its power.
"This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." Luke 2:34-35
When she heard Jesus cry out in fear and rejection, " Father , why have you forsaken me?" Mary knew with certainty that God had momentarily turned His back on His own son. Everything she was told up until now was hard for her. She knew that this was the will of God, and that Jesus wasn't her own, but the instance was so very strong and deeply rooted in her. She loved Jesus just as her other children. He came from her womb, and she was careful of what she ate and did for nine months as He grew inside her. She sang songs to Him, she rubbed her belly and soothed Him to sleep and rocked herself knowing that it would bring comfort inside her. A mother's bond to their child is strong, and hers was no different.
"It is finished" He met her gae and something unspoken exchanged between them. The rushing flow of the river of love swept between them. She looked deeper into His eyes, and she could see and pinpoint the area of His heart that held love, peace and forgiveness for everyone who had done this to Him. It took her back a moment. She stepped back a moment, and when she regained her footing to look back up at him, He was gone.
His head hung down and a soldier walked by and pierced His side. As he did so, Mary came up to stop him, but someone held her back. The tears streamed her face as she mourned her great loss, the world's great loss.
( Condensed taken from Persistent Grace pages 6-7)