The Word for today:
Rightly or wrongly, I’ve been accused of having deep scriptural insight. I sort of play along with my accusers because their accusations momentarily bolster my puny ego.
But here’s a revelation that God has confirmed and reconfirmed: if it weren’t for His Cross, I wouldn’t be able to understand anything about His Word. And neither would you.
The Bible–all of it–can be thought of as the caption to the picture of the cross. I know it’s a long caption, but without the picture we wouldn’t understand a word.
For an example of how intellectually (let alone spiritually!) lost we’d be without the cross, I refer you to these back-to-back verses from Romans chapter 1:
For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” (verse 17)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. (verse 18)
The righteousness of God is revealed / the wrath of God is revealed–back-to-back, simultaneously. How’s a man to understand?
God’s Word in general and the book of Romans in particular is just too much for us to comprehend, unless we run every idea past the cross.
For it was at the cross that the righteousness of God was given to every believer at the very same time the wrath of God was being poured out on God Himself. The cross is the only way to make any sense out of seemingly irreconcilable verses like this one:
The LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation. (Numbers 14:18)
Without the cross, we’d be thoroughly lost! The cross is not only the one way to salvation, but it is also the one window that is open to spiritual enlightenment.
So don’t scratch your head over the complexities of the book of Romans. Just take every idea to the cross, and it will all come into focus.
And pretty soon, people will be accusing you of deep scriptural insight! Enjoy their accusations for a while, but then you must confide to them your secret–The Secret of the Cross.
You must admit to one and all that you never understood the caption, until you saw the pic†ure.