“...come down from the cross and save yourself.” Mark 15:30 NIV
If you have been a Christ-follower for any length of time; you have that life is not a playground but a battlefield. We live in a culture that is self-centered and seeks comfort, not a conflict. If you are serious about living a Christ-centered life; the following truth must be applied every day.
When Jesus was hanging on the cross; the crowd taunted Him to come down from His cross. There is no question that He could have done exactly that [Matthew 26:53] but in so doing He would be disobeying God’s will. The “flesh” is God’s code word for our deed to serve our personal desires. The flesh is man’s lower nature that is centered in fulfilling selfish desires. One of the reasons that many Christians do not have depth in their relationship with Christ is they have not understood and lived the crucified life.
The Apostle Paul wrote that we are crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20 and that we have crucified the flesh.
- Any time you try to justify yourself; you have come down from your cross.
- Any time you give into self-pity; you have come down from your cross.
- The reason churches split; someone has come down from their cross.
- Divorce occurs because someone [or both] have come down from their cross.
- The reason people criticize and leave their church; because someone has come down from their cross.
We face the same temptation as Christ; to come down from OUR cross and save our SELF. Satan knows that he can not defeat you as long as you remain on your cross because the cross was his ultimate defeat. To live a victorious life you must daily choose to remain on your cross. You will always be defeated spiritually when you come down from your cross. The only way to please God and walk in the Spirit is to keep SELF on the cross.
I confess; I love electronic gadgets. (Unfortunately, I cannot afford most of them.) But the one device I probably use the most is my GPS. I use it even if I know how to reach my destination because the GPS “might” know a faster route.
When using a GPS, it will ask the user if they want to start at their present location. To most of us, that is a mute question. Of course, I want to start at my current location! But the GPS cannot give you directions unless it has all the information.
People who desire a relationship with God, know they are not where they should be, spiritually speaking, but the problem is they do not know where to start. Many people think they need to “get their act together” before they can come to God. They think must give up this, stop doing that, start going to church, etc. It is sometimes difficult to convince people that they are sinners Romans 3:23. Many believe there has to be something they need to do before they can come before God. Titus 3:5
God’s GPS tells us where we are; we are separated from God [lost] and we need to confess to Him that we need a Savior. Only by fully trusting Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for our sins; can we be made right with God. Once you trust Christ to forgive your sins; God’s GPS (The Holy Spirit) will guide you to your destination. John 16:13
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
“People walking by insulted him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! So you were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, were you? Save yourself and come down from that cross! In the same way, the chief priests were making fun of him among themselves, together with the legal experts. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself.” Mark 15:29-31
Throughout Christ’s life, He was constantly tempted to reject the Cross. Satan knew that the Cross would be his ultimate defeat. Jesus could have come down from the Cross saving Himself but I doing so He would have destroyed God’s purpose to save lost mankind. Christ refused to save SELF.
The vast majority of our problems is when refuse to die to ourselves in an effort to save ourselves. The Bible tells us that:
- “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” [Galatians 5:24]
- “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. [Galatians 2:20]
Satan cannot touch you as long as you remain on the cross because that is where he is defeated. But when you come down from your ‘cross’ to save yourself, you are exposed to his attacks. When you demand your rights, you have come down from your cross. Many divorces are the result of one (or both) spouses coming down from their cross. Road rage is a sign of coming down from the cross. Wars happen when countries come down from their cross. Lying is often coming down from the cross to protect self. Blaming other is a coming down from your cross.
Jesus died on the Cross not only for the forgiveness of sin but also that we might live victorious.