The Ultimate Meaning of the Cross (continued)
A People to Express Christ's Lordship
So when we come really to the Word, we find that the Cross as our basis and as our way leads on to these, but through them ever on and ever up to something much more than they are, either separately or collectively and inclusively, and it is that ultimate something which is the supreme objective resultant from the Cross of the Lord Jesus. When I use that word "ultimate", I do not want to divert your mind from the present. I am not using it in the sense of afterward, final, in the sense of time; for that ultimate is now. God has shown that He would have a full vindication of the Cross of His Son now.
Let me stay for a moment for an extra word on what I have just said. We Christians ought to be tremendously interested in our Christianity, interested not merely as a mental matter, but as a heart matter; interested in heart really to discover where we are being led by the whole Word of God. We read the Bible; I suppose we read a few verses each day; some do a great deal more than that; but the Bible is the book of Christians, and we read it more or less. I wonder how many of us really do approach the Bible with this one heart inquiry - where is that leading? What is it all unto? This is not just something by the way in itself. There is something tremendous, something immense, involved. There is always a forward look, a prospect, something in view, something being pointed to, something toward which we are being urged, drawn on; and, putting it all together, where shall we arrive if we see what God has really put into this Word? How many of you do that? If we do approach the Word of God with that spirit - with that inquiry coming from our hearts, that is, born of the very love which has been begotten in us by the love of God: if we are not merely interested in Christianity as our religion but as a heart relationship with the Lord for His satisfaction - if we approach the Bible like that, desiring to know what it is His heart is set upon, and therefore what our hearts ought to be set upon, and if we take the Cross of the Lord Jesus as the key to it all, we shall find ourselves led to some very great conclusions, a very great position.
Can we try - for it will be no more than an endeavor - to set down in a mere phrase what that ultimate something is? May I put it in this way? The ultimate is shown to be the supreme Lordship and Headship of Christ expressed and manifested in the whole cosmic realm in and by a body of Christians in whom the Divine meaning of the Cross is an experimental reality.
(continued with # 3 - (A Conscious Spiritual Relationship, The Fruit of the Cross)