If our faith stops at the cross
(J. R. Miller, "Life's Byways and Waysides")
The women had brought spices, expecting to find Jesus' body wrapped in burial garments, lying in the tomb. "He is not here — He has risen!" said the angel. Matthew 28:6
Too many Christians look yet for their Christ, among the dead. They do not get beyond the cross and the grave. They see Christ, as only the Lamb of God who takes away their sin. They think of Him as accomplishing in His sufferings and death, the whole of His work of human redemption. They do not think of a living Christ who intercedes for them in Heaven, and who walks with them on earth in loving companionship.
The cross must never be forgotten! In a certain very real sense — Christ saved His people by giving Himself for them. The cross was the fullest, most complete revealing of divine love, which earth has ever seen! There the heart of God broke — that its streams of life might flow out to give life to the perishing world. To leave a dying Christ out of our creed — is to leave out salvation. The prints of the nails are the proof-marks on all doctrine, on all theology, on all Christian life. He who dims the luster of the cross of Christ — is putting out the light of Christian hope, by which alone souls can be lighted homeward. We must never forget that Jesus died — died for us!
But if our faith stops at the cross — it misses the blessing of the fullest revealing of Christ. We do not merely need a Savior who nineteen hundred years ago went to death to redeem us — but one who also is alive — to walk by our side in loving companionship.
We need a Savior who can now hear our prayers.
We need a Savior to whose feet we can now creep in penitence, when we have sinned.
We need a Savior to whom we can now call for help, when the battle is going against us.
We need a Savior who is now interested in all of the affairs of our common life, and who can assist us in time of need.
We need a Savior who can now be our real Friend — loving us, keeping close beside us always.
We not only need a Savior who saved us by one great act wrought centuries ago — but one who continually saves us by His warm heart throbbing with love today, walking ever by our side.
Nothing less than a living Christ will do for us! That is what the gospel brings to us. It tells us of Him who lives. He was dead — the nail-prints are in His hands — but He is now alive forevermore! He is risen! He loves us now, today, always. He is ever with us!
It is only as we realize the truth of a living Christ — that our hearts are satisfied. We crave a personal friendship which will come into our life with its sympathies, its inspirations, its companionship, its shelter, its life, its comfort. All this, the living Christ is to us.
"Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them!" Hebrews 7:25