The Cross and Growing Up

The Christian faith starts with the cross. There is no Christian faith without the crucifixion and Christ’s sacrifice of his perfect self to take away the sins of the world. But what does the crucifixion mean for our growth and maturity as a Christian, our Growing Up?

First, the cross brings freedom. Salvation has been brought to us in the action and sacrifice of Jesus. He did what only he could do. There is nothing I have to do to earn my salvation other than believe that he is who he says he is and commit to follow him with my heart, mind, and soul. This takes the pressure off. I don’t have to strive for my eternal destiny and atonement, I can simply embrace the reality of my salvation and live in the freedom that I am no longer bound by my sin. This freedom life allows me to break free of the muck of my sin and start to Grow Up in a spiritual life that thrives and is life giving to myself and those around me.

Second, the cross brings beauty. There is nothing uglier than forced death but yet millions of Christians and non-Christians wear a miniature instrument of death around their necks as adornment and beautiful accessory. The cross is a reminder that even the ugliest and most heinous thing can be transformed into something beautiful and majestic. It is the same with our lives. No matter what mistakes I have made, no matter how high my propensity to screw things up gets, I can be transformed. Restoration is possible and expected in Christ. Growing Up means that I don’t stay tainted and destroyed by my past or circumstances or hurts. The cross shows God’s ability to restore all things.

Third, the cross brings family. The family of God is united by the cross and the shedding of Jesus’ blood and the sacrifice of his body. I may not share a language, skin color, place of origin, or financial status with a person on the other side of the world but if we are both followers of Jesus then we are bonded together because of the same work of the cross. The community of believers gather around the cross and are connected by it. I need a family to Grow Up. I need fathers in the faith to show me examples of Christlike love. I need mothers in the faith to show me Christ like service. I need brothers in the faith to show me where I am wrong and help me to be better. I need sisters in the faith to show me better ways of relating to others. The cross is the great uniter and that unity is needed for Growing Up.

As you settle into this Easter week, remember that your Christian life doesn’t just begin at the cross but is springboarded to a whole new existence where freedom, beauty, and a faith family transform your life.

Next week, we will discuss how the resurrection helps us to Grow Up.

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