‘The work of the cross’ is a familiar Christian term, but what does it actually mean?
It means the ultimate example of Christ’s sacrifice, paying the debt we could not pay, and the work that carries on through us. This work is so vital that Jesus’ last conversation on the cross was about the forgiveness of the cross. Luke 23:34.
Really listen to Him, for Jesus was not a naive guru dishing out nice stories and folk wisdom. He knew all about human nature. He was the complete and whole person, both fully God and a brilliant man, who held ‘treasures of wisdom and deep knowledge’. Colossians 2:3.
On the cross His love rose above His suffering. He even turns to God to pray for the persecutors.
On the cross Jesus paid the price, and we also will pay the price when we forgive others.
It is letting go of our right to hurt back.
People will hurt us, and we will hurt others. Not everyone will like us, and we won’t like everyone either! However, two foundational Christian principles are to forgive and to love others. This teaching really is challenging! Where we can, we can work towards reconciliation, but sometimes we need to leave the conviction to God; He can go where we cannot go, He can convict where we cannot convict. Romans 12:19
How do we love the unlovable (our enemies)?
Read 1 Corinthians 13.
This passage is not just for weddings! This way of love turns the world’s understanding on its head and it’s hard to do!
It’s not dependent on your feelings, for feelings come and go.
It’s a setting of your will; a decision.
It’s a self-giving love.
Work it out by treating people as if you really do love them. It’s a challenge, it can be disarming for them; beware it may change you both.
Pray for them.
“Forgiveness: (1) something that, like most of the wonderful gifts of God, you are not allowed to receive unless you have already given it away; (2) anagram of ‘serving foes.”