Christless cross no refuge were for me;
crossless Christ my Savior could not be:
O CHRIST CRUCIFIED, I rest in Thee!
in coming to rest in Christ crucified as our life, our joy, our all, the
Christian often goes through the bitter agonies of struggle and discouragement
and defeat before coming to a glad consent to co-crucifixion. It
is hard to unlearn self. Until we are sick unto death of sin, we
have hard work to reckon ourselves dead unto sin. We practice all
manner of self-crucifixion, but to no avail. Self dies hard.
In final captivity and thralldom to the "carcass" of self we are brought
to cry out, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body
of this death?" In such an hour the Lord Jesus bends over us saying, My
son, let me put the Spirit of life of my own resurrected Being into you
that you may "be free indeed"--"free from the law of sin and death"--free
to fulfill all that I have purposed you shall become. Oh, the blessed
assurance that "if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead
dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken
your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." It is not self-crucifixion
but union with Christ in His death and resurrection that lays the basis
for Christian victory. The Crucified LIVES to make real His own mighty
story is told of a wealthy Christian merchant who had an only son whom
he loved dearly, and who grew into noble young manhood. The father
was wrapped up in his son's future and success. One night a boy who
had led a criminal life from childhood broke into the home and attempted
to kill the son. For days it seemed that the son would not live.
But when he became conscious and was able to hear of what had occurred,
he was shown the picture of the boy who had attempted to take his life.
His heart was touched by the youthfulness of the lad. A desire was
awakened in the son to try to save this lad from a life of crime.
The father finally consented to the suggestion that the young criminal
be taken into the home, adopted as a son and brother, and in time share
the inheritance. It was with great difficulty that the young criminal
was persuaded of their sincerity. Finally convinced, he agreed to
their proposal. Old habits, however, had such a hold upon him that
time after time he fell back into evil ways, until the father almost despaired
of ever being able to help him. But father and son, in spite of discouragement,
held on and lavished their blessings upon him. One day at the height
of the father's despair he went into the criminal boy's room and there
noticed a picture of his own son. He picked it up and scanned it.
The picture bore the marks of much thumbing and handling, and on the back
of it was written "Oh, I do so want to be like you, because you have done
so much for me; but it seems as if I never can be good." Hope sprang up
in the father's breast. His efforts were finally rewarded when the
one-time criminal became "good."
you longed and sighed to be Christ-like? You have said to the Lord
Jesus, "Oh, I do so want to be like Thee, because Thou hast done so much
for me; but it seems as though I never can be good." Beloved, begin at
once to reckon upon your death-resurrection position in Christ.
Count by naked faith upon the fact of your union with Christ.
In blind abandonment, as far as feelings are concerned, move out by a definite
act of faith, trusting Christ to make real your life-union with Him.
Sink your life into His, and let Him be your life, your light, your victory,
your all. Remember, your living, crucified HEAD is in Heaven.
Head and members at one. That is a fact of life. You and
I are "bone of His bone." Let the glory of this vital union grip you and
you can never be the same again. The rules of mathematics fail us
here. Ordinarily one and one make two. But with God one and
one make ONE. "They two shall be one flesh." And Paul
explains, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ
and the church" (Eph. 5:31, 32). And "as the body is one, and hath
many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one
body: so also is Christ" (I Cor. 12:12). "The whole Christ includes
both Head and body" (Augustine). Martin Luther made this practical
observation: "The moment I consider Christ and myself as two I am gone."
Let us then be so experimentally one with Christ that we shall be one in
interest, one in service, one in outlook--altogether one with the Crucified,
having "two hearts that beat as one."
Dr. A. T. Pierson says: "A
devout woman whom I once visited, to condole with her on the recent departure
of an aged and most saintly mother, said to me with a smile: 'For forty
years, my dear mother's mind has been in Heaven.' And I could not
but recall those exquisite lines of Goldsmith: