Lessons Of A Lifetime

In The Shadow Of The Cross
Or
God’s Affirming Voice
Sunday Sept. 25, 2022

Scripture To Consider:
“Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.”

“But Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor. Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save Me from this hour”? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.’

“Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ Therefore, the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to Him.’ Jesus answered and said, ‘This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world, now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He would die.”    John 12.20-33

Something To Consider:
In John chapter 2 Jesus told His mother Mary, “My time has not yet come.”  Here in chapter 12, He announced, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” Jesus, for all practical purposes was now standing in the shadow of the cross. And yet, for there to be a shadow, there must also be light.

David recognized that truth when he penned the words of the 23rd Psalm. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Jesus stood in the shadow of death that the cross at Calvary cast upon Him, and He became the Light of the world.

When our time comes to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, will we be able, like David, to fear no evil? Will we, as Jesus, be willing to stand in the shadow of death cast by that which the cross of Christ signifies? And if not, why not? Jesus, our spiritual example has shown us the way. And that way is the way of the cross!

Something Else To Consider:
Standing in the shadow of the cross Jesus spoke of the natural process of a grain or seed of wheat that falls or is sown into the ground in order to die and to produce much grain or fruit. For many or most, death, from a worldly perspective is wrongly believed to be the end of life. But nothing is further from the written biblical truth of the Word of God.

The song writer of Psalm 49 declared in verse 15; “God will redeem my soul from the power [death grip] of the grave, for He [God, my Redeemer] shall receive me.” Can we boldly and rightfully make that astonishing claim? And if not, why not? If not, is it because of a guilty conscience due to unconfessed sin? If not, is it because we are holding onto some worldly trinket-like possession or position that is contrary to the Word of God? God forgive us!

Jesus acknowledged in Matthew 10.28; “Do not fear those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him [God] who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” If we are spiritually desiring to live in the shadow of the cross, we must be found looking unto Jesus, the Light of the world, and thereby remaining obedient to the voice of God found within the Word of God.

Something More To Consider:
In our Scripture to consider, Jesus’ discourse was pleasantly interrupted by God the Father’s affirming voice from heaven, after Jesus said, “Father, glorify Your name.” The voice declared, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” God’s name was indeed glorified in His Son Jesus. Can the same be said of us? And if not, we may need to once again stand in the shadow of the cross of Christ today in order to bathed in the Light of His illuminating Word.

We must be willing to accept the biblical fact that millions of godly, Christ believing saints will stand in the physical shadow of the death of the cross as we face the fast-approaching end times. And the only way we will successfully endure unto the end, is if we have also heard and obediently listened to God’s affirming voice within the sacred pages of His Old and New Testament holy and preserved Word.

Within its pages, is revealed God’s will for our lives and for the human race. According to 2 Peter 3.9, this is the will of God! “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise [of salvation], but is longsuffering toward us [true believers] not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Has God’s will for us been satisfied through the portal of repentance? And if not, why not?

A Few Final Words:
And because God has given humankind free will, most, sadly, refuse His promise of eternal life. Therefore, these same most in every generation are rather willing to live their entire lives under the shadow of eternal death, rather than in the shadow of the cross of Christ while alive here on earth. God help us in not being deceived by the glitter and gold this world has to offer in exchange for eternal life with God and all He has for the faithful!

Jesus, having stood in the shadow of the cross, was willing to be lifted up in death upon the cross for all people. The challenge is whether we are willing to follow His example. For according to Jesus, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This Jesus said, signifying by what death He would die.

Therefore, the question remains the same down through the centuries since Christ’s sacrificial standing in the shadow of death. Are we listening to God’s affirming voice? Are we allowing the wisdom of God’s Word to direct our paths? Are we being led by the lamp light of the Word of God? Only we as individuals can honestly and correctly answer these questions of a lifetime!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, may we not fear standing in the shadow of the cross or in the shadow of death. For it is there beside Jesus, that we find real life and experience the true Light of the World and of whom is the Word of God. Let us therefore behold the glory of God found within Jesus. In Him Always, Amen!

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