I am currently looking at the “way” of the cross. It is a terrifying and exciting study. How to participate in the central symbol of the life of Christ, and one from which all other symbols hinge and radiate. Terrifying to my flesh, and exciting to my spirit! The cross is the altar. From our perspective, this is the place of daily death into His power over death. The daily, hourly, bringing the unworthy sacrifice of my flesh, to His worthy sacrifice-ie bringing myself to His action and victory over death. In His energy and Life in this action, i am accepted, renewed, and reconciled to Our Father. In His already and ongoing power, i overcome daily the desires of the self-life, by entering His killing of them. And, in this action, i enter my true self.
I cannot be, in myself, a worthy sacrifice, but I can enter His, and by so doing have my old nature-the false self, the “old man”- killed once again, over and over. This is part of the way and power of the cross! Even the desire to do good in overcoming my own sin, must be killed. I cannot offer my own sacrifice for sin, He has already done this, and I must enter in, and put that fleshly desire to do good or evil-or even, the seemingly noble desire, to not bother Him- to death. The way of the cross, or the patterns of His Being, in it, are terrifying for us all, but there is absolutely no other way to get into a true union with God.
I like this meditation by Andrew Murray, “Many Christians do not understand this. The cross in which they glory differs from that in which Paul gloried. He gloried in a cross on which not only Christ was crucified, but on which he himself was also crucified. They glory in a cross on which Christ died, but they are not willing to die on it themselves…Everyone who obtains a share in that blood, is, by that blood brought into this way. It is the way of the cross. Nothing less than the entire sacrifice of one’s self-life is the way to the life of God. The cross with its entire renunciation of self is the only altar on which we can consecrate ourselves to God.”