15-6 Rock of Ages

listen not
Listen to Rock of Ages

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;

And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, (Jn. 19:17)

Jesus, Savior of mankind, author of deliverance, placed the cross upon Himself, carrying it along the Via Dolorosa, the Sorrowful Way. This He did after they scourged and beat, mocked and betrayed Him. The crown of thorns revealed the reason He descended to earth—Jesus, King and Conqueror of all man’s sins—past, present and future. The Jewish leaders thought they were cleansing the city by crucifying Him outside of Jerusalem. Instead, Jesus was taking upon Himself their uncleanness, deflecting God’s wrath away from His people and onto Himself. Jesus found strength in prayer in a solitary place outside the city, apart from the people who prayed in large gatherings at the temple in the city. Jesus, with His cross, went out to the Place of a Skull.  The people thought they were overpowering Him by crucifying Him on a cross when, in fact, Jesus displayed His overpowering strength when He was resurrected three days later, removing God’s wrath from His people. Every time it appears the enemy wins, God reveals a plan even more amazing than previously known.

We have been given the opportunity to cling to the cross. The cross where Jesus suffered as a lightning-conductor, diverting the thunderbolt of sin against us and onto Himself. The cross, hanging in darkness, the connecting link between heaven and earth, blood-stained arms extended wide, stretched east to west, gathering every sinner from every place on the globe to Himself. The cross, directed toward heaven, our eternal resting place, the final triumph of His work in redemption. Its foot firmly planted in the ground as a tree, our earthly home, from which we gather the fruit of reconciliation to God our Father. The cross, where our Savior spilled His blood for us. Amazing love, everlasting love, redeeming love.

Whatever trials you encounter, no matter how hopeless the way seems, if you patiently, quietly yield yourself to the will of your Father in heaven, He will provide a way of escape far beyond anything you could imagine. It is incredibly difficult—but even more rewarding—to remain silent as Jesus did when under persecution. When you hold tight to the cross, the result is inevitable: a greater testimony, a deeper love, and a stronger faith. Remember Jesus when facing your cross this day. Are you embracing it? Jesus bore His cross alone. You have the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to help you carry yours. Together, you can find the victory. The cross must come before the crown. “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.”