Thursday, August 14, 2014
When He is lifted up, conclusion
We've been focused this week on this verse:
“If I shall be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me”
These words carry an even deeper meaning than the cross, for if the story had ended at His death upon the cross there would still be no eternal life or victorious life in Christ for any of us.
Jesus was lifted up, first, to the cross – there He suffered and died, taking upon Him the sin of the whole world. He willingly gave His life as a sacrifice of love for each of us.
He was lifted up secondly, from the grave: if there had been no resurrection from the dead, what hope would the cross have given to us? It's only because God raised His Son by His own power that any of us can have eternal life. If there had been no resurrection, how much meaning would be attached to these events? They would have meant no more than the death of any other hero of the faith, or of any other man!
And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your
faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for
we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did
not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised,
then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your
faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen
asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of
all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. (I Corinthians 15:14-20)
Because Jesus was lifted up to the cross, then lifted from the grave, all men are drawn toward that power of resurrection. Even those who reject Jesus as God are still influenced and drawn by that power . . . some believe in reincarnation; some believe in eventual salvation for every man and woman regardless of how they live; all believe that this life is not "all there is." We are all given hope of continuing to a better realm and of living forever.
Jesus is lifted up thirdly, to heaven -- He has now completed His work as Savior and is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven.
You know, it doesn't matter if people shake their fist in the face of God, if they turn away in disgust from the sacrifice on the cross, if they deny the resurrection happened -- there will come a time when every person is drawn like a magnet to the cross, and then to the throne of Jesus. They will recognize that Jesus is Lord.
For it is written, as I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and
every tongue shall confess to God. (Romans 14:11)
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and
things in earth, and things under the earth. (Philippians 2:10)
Jesus told us that when He was lifted up, good things would happen. Healing, forgiveness, and eternal life are all His gifts to us. And He has promised that He will lift us up, as well:
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.
He has promised us abundant life. If we accept His sacrifice on the cross, and His resurrection, we will have salvation, deliverance and forgiveness of sins, all through Christ.
Let's lift Him up in our lives. Let's strive to be more like Him, and witness to His gospel!