The Immense Significance of Jesus Christ: Crucified, Risen, and Exalted (continued)
A Cosmic Cross: A Cosmic Death (continued)
Mighty, mighty thing was the Cross to Paul. "May it never be," said he, "that I should boast, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ ... We preach Christ crucified ... I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified," for all this content is in the Cross of the Lord Jesus. Paul saw that the Cross of Jesus Christ was the climax of humanity. He saw that the Cross of Jesus Christ was the zero hour of the old Adam race, the place at which in the darkness (ah, more than natural darkness) God said: "The door is closed, the door is closed upon a certain kind of humanity. This is zero for that humanity." We take a lifetime to learn that. When the Holy Spirit gets hold of a life, He is always bringing us back to that, that one fact, and putting His finger upon this and that, and something else, and saying in us: "That went out through the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; the Cross has closed the door on that. If you bring that in, you are countering the work of the Cross."
In the Letter to the Hebrews, as well as in these Corinthians Letters, it is a terrible, terrible thing to go back upon the Cross and crucify afresh the Son of God and stamp upon the Blood of our redemption. Oh, the apostles had a lot to say about that, but that is controversial; however, it is not our subject this morning, but there it is. Brethren, the Cross has said an eternal "No" to the whole kind, type, and way of a certain humanity. The Holy Spirit is trying to teach us that; and if you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you know quite well what the Holy Spirit will allow and what He will not, or you ought to.
Oh, young Christians, especially, but all of us, how important it is for us to know the Holy Spirit in this way. You go to this one, and to that one, going around asking your questions, "Ought I? May I? Should I? Can I?" No need for that at all; and if anybody begins to tell you "you may" or "you may not," they are doing the wrong thing. You ought to know in your own heart by the Holy Spirit, if you are born of the Spirit, you ought to know by the Spirit making you uncomfortable about certain things. Not whispering in your ear in words and saying: "No, you must not to that," but inside. "I'm not so happy about this as I once was; I don't feel so free to do these things as I once did." You know what I mean; the Holy Spirit is only bringing you back to the Cross and saying again: "zero to that, the end of that, that belongs to the old humanity."
Brethren, I must not start with too much detail, but the Cross of the Lord Jesus is a very practical thing. The Cross is not just an historic thing. The Cross is not just something in the Christian creed. The Cross of the Lord Jesus is a devastating thing, a terrific thing, and it takes us a lifetime to learn how much that is true. However, the fact is here from the beginning: it is the zero hour of the Adamic race. And furthermore, the Cross is the registration of the subjection of the prince of this world. "Now the whole world lieth in the wicked one," says the apostle, "the whole world lieth (is in the lap of) the evil one." By nature, we are in that realm, in that kingdom, but the great and mighty work of the Cross is this transition - "hath transferred (or transitioned) us out of the authority of darkness, ... into the kingdom of the Son of His love." By nature we are within that kingdom of the prince of this world, but at the Cross Jesus said, "Now is the prince of this world cast out." Now what did Christ mean? He did not mean the annihilation of the devil. We know that quite well. Not that he ceased to be a being or to have power, but something better than that. Perhaps you know there is such a thing as victory, and there is something more than victory; there is being a conqueror, and there is being more than conqueror. What do I mean?
(continued with # 42)