One of my favorite hymns is Lift High the Cross. It is a 19th century English Christian hymn. It was written in 1887 by George Kitchin and revised in 1916 by Michael R. Newbolt. It is based on Matthew 16:24. ‘Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
We see another place, as recorded in John 12, relating to the cross. Listen to what Jesus says. “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (vs.31) That is, all who trust in his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. He said this to show what kind of death he was going to die. Satan would have us all believe that sin is not an issue. And many world organizations and religions echo this loudly. Satan wants to build a one world order similar to what was attempted in Babel before God dispersed them throughout the earth.
This battle for the hearts and minds and souls of the world’s population cannot be won by non-biblical truth, philosophies, or myths. There’s another great 19th century hymn that I’m sure we all have sung many times. Onward Christian Soldiers… marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before! It was written to encourage Christians in their ongoing battles with temptations within themselves and the evil forces throughout the world. Nothing has changed. And neither is the battle cry or the means of victory.
Be cross centered
I would ask you, and me; are we, in our service to the Lord for his kingdom, lifting up anything other than the gospel? If so, it will not reap a harvest. The simple message of the gospel by which you must be saved is cross centered. ‘Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.’ See Paul’s writings in 1 Cor. 15.1-5. No cross, no shed blood, no salvation!
And no power to live victoriously! It’s the power of the cross; the power is in his shed blood. It’s not in our good works. “But far be it from me to boast (glory) except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” It’s the same for you and me, and it’s the same for everyone. Jesus assured his Father’s plan for salvation for his created when he obediently went to the cross and suffered the shame. But glory be to God; he is risen, he is seated at the Father’s right hand and he is victorious.
Jesus Christ our Lord
And this will be the ultimate result in eternity. “And being found in human form, he (Jesus) humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the 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 shall 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.” (Phil. 2.8-11)
Let’s go and lift up the cross and glorify the Father.