There is only one enduring hope for the world, only one hope that defies even the grave, and looks ahead to eternal life… the cross of Christ1. No matter how good anyone’s intentions, no matter how much money is invested in cures and vaccines, or how many barriers are erected to prevent pandemics in the future, the only way to do something about the state of the Earth is to be a part of a radical, new way of living that originates with the cross of Christ. It must be embraced today just as it was when the Savior himself preached the message that led him to the cross — that is, obedience to his heavenly Father’s word, motivated by love for the One who created him.
The Cross is the Gospel
Those whose comfort in religious ceremonies has been taken away by the restrictions the virus has imposed on them must no longer be stagnant in their spirits. God actually does expect more than a few hours a week. He expects a person’s entire life as the normal response to the sacrifice of His Son on the cross.2 He expects a corresponding sacrifice of one’s life. Only such a death to self enables one to live for others. Only the cross of Christ enables us to overcome the selfishness that afflicts each one of us. The Savior told us we also must deny ourselves, pick up that cross,3 and put our selfishness to death in order to really live… and that’s the gospel.
What is He Waiting for?
Heaven holds the Messiah until all his enemies are put under his feet.4 That means when the selfishness that has ripped people apart and brought division and chaos to this world order has lost its hold on us, he will be free to return to this earth. But he must first see God’s people return to the way the church was in the beginning, when they were all together and had all things in common. Their love for Yahshua5 and for one another bonded them together in an unbreakable bond of love. If our lives do not bring about his return by demonstrating this true utopia of love, we have lived in vain. He came that we might have great power and great grace to actually overcome the wrong ways in us. That grace is available only to those with one heart and one way, who hold everything in common. They are together and share, not content to have a needy or lonely person among them.6 This is the effect the cross of Christ had 2,000 years ago.
The Effect of the Cross
The cross created a people like this, who are called believers.7 They believe and live together in the shadow of that old, rugged cross, which has put an end to their selfish pursuits. Thus, they can live together in peace,8 as a people who are zealous for the good deeds9 that build up the Kingdom of God10. It is only the lives of a people dwelling together in unity that will have great consequential effect!
The cross created a people… who are called believers.
Has the cross of Christ truly made you a part of a people who are daily laying down their lives for one another?11 Do you have the right cross?
The only thing worth living for is to bring this evil world order to an end, and bring about the return of Yahshua to set up his kingdom of love and peace. This will be a true utopia that will fill the universe. This hope is what inspires us and motivates us to press on through the very difficult circumstances of this time to continue to love the way he loved us.
Come pick up your cross with us!
- Christ comes from the Greek khristos "the anointed," noun use of verbal adjective of khriein "to rub, anoint" translated to Greek from the Hebrew mashiah (online etemology dictionary) - the Hebrew word translated in English is Messiah. We greatly prefer the title "Messiah" over "Christ", but will use the form "Christ" in this article in order to help you find us.
- Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; Romans 6:3-6
- Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. Matthew 16:24-27
- waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. Hebrews 10:13
- Yahshua is the original Hebrew name of the Savior, called Jesus in most English translations of the Bible. Read more about His Name.
- And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales Acts 4:32-34
- And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; Acts 2:44
- being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:3
- who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:14
- for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ Ephesians 4:12; from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16
- And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23; We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16