Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Beauty of the Cross

1For we know that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
II Cor 5:1-2

I was once a single man. I recall this as a historical fact, but now that I am married, I really don't remember what it was like. It's as if that man has died, and I am now living a new existence as a husband and a stepfather. I cannot deny that for most of my years here on earth I walked alone, with responsibility for no one, but I honestly don't recall the loneliness of that life. Now I suspect that the same will be true of my walk here on earth, once I have passed on to eternity. Sure, I will remember the fact of my walk on earth, but I shall recall nothing of how it felt to be hindered by sin and the flesh, so ecstatic will be my joy at being in Christ's presence. 

Someone, maybe Lewis, said that our focus on earth is usually wrong. We treat eternity as if it were nothing, and nothing as if it were eternity. The Bible is clear: there is reward in Heaven for what is done on Earth, but for most of us, the promise of reward is nothing but empty words. Jesus bids us, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness . . . " but do we do so?  What is the true object of our desire? Is it the True Bread of Heaven (Is 55)? Or like the proverbial woman at the well, are we seeking that which does not truly satisfy?

I am convinced that when our hearts are set towards eternity, the Cross will ever be glorious in our eyes. Yes, Paul says, there is suffering here on earth, but it is not "worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us", Romans eight. If that which we have now in temporal reality is taken away, we nevertheless are 'Being renewed in the inner man daily" II Cor 4. Yes, "the body they may kill, God's truth abideth still, his kingdom is forever". 

Lord, help me to focus on Eternity. Let me never live under the illusion that this life is all that there is. May I truly desire the Eternal, and gladly endure to the end, knowing that there is true treasure layed up for me in Heaven.