2 Responses to the Cross

Creation-hands-L (1)By default, we are creatures of response.

We respond to pretty much everything.  Every action toward us will elicit, in most cases, a response to that action.  And, in those instances where there is no response…well, even that is a response.

As a parent, whenever I give my boys a task, I anticipate a response.  I expect a hearty “yes sir” followed by carrying out the task I’ve assigned.  Typically, I get one of the following:

1.     A debate of “why?” and “what for?” followed by “I’ll do it in a minute.”

2.     A roll of the eyes followed by a begrudging “yes sir.”

3.     An agreeable “ok” accompanied by procrastination, followed by the constant reminders that escalate into threats on my part – and eventually the doing of the task I requested an hour earlier.

Needless to say, all of the scenarios result in significant action on my part.

The cross demands our response.  And, there are two ways to respond:

1.     Worship.  We worship in response to God’s grace through the cross.  It is an expression of joy and gratitude that is the product of a realization that we are saved from the wrath of God.  What we deserve, God puts on Christ.  Bryan Chappell states in Christ-Centered Worship,

Without assurance of grace, we despair in our sin.  Without reminder of grace, we depend on our own strength.  Without rejoicing in grace, we presume the merit of performance.  Unless we make the communication of the gospel the frame and focus of our worship, our ceremonies possess only a form of godliness without the power of God. (126)

2.     Mission.  Out of the benefits of the cross come our response to go and tell.  When we are redeemed, and grace is our covering, we must go next door or across the world to speak of this grace.  It is a response indicative of the working of grace in our lives.  Look at how Isaiah responded:

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”  And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”  Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”  And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.”  Isaiah 6:1-8 ESV

Our response – our worship and mission – is fueled by the awareness of grace in our lives and is directed solely to God.  In the shadow of that grace, nothing else matters.


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