Seeing Through the Cross

Sunday: A template Most of us are energetic and pumped up on a Sunday. No demonic forces have the potential to even look at us or stand against us on Sundays. The speciality about Sunday is how we begin with prayer and worship. Further, the day is filled with the Word, communion, declaration, and finally, […]

November 21, 2022

Sunday: A template

Most of us are energetic and pumped up on a Sunday. No demonic forces have the potential to even look at us or stand against us on Sundays. The speciality about Sunday is how we begin with prayer and worship. Further, the day is filled with the Word, communion, declaration, and finally, fellowship with one another. On Sundays, during the service, we experience a degree of the supernatural where our fears, anxieties or insecurities no longer challenge us.

When we fail to sow seeds intentionally, the weeds grow in the ground automatically. The weeds have strongholds on us during the weekdays when we are so caught up to meet the ends, and the demonic forces constantly attack us. We are tossed with the thoughts of not having enough and being in lack. We have to purposely begin our day with God’s Word, so weeds do not grow. Worship and declaration are significant to carry the Spirit of Faith. And the Spirit of faith speaks. Thus, to function in wisdom and to live as a Christian daily, we need to look at what we do on a Sunday as a template and translate it to our weekdays. We must include time for prayer, worship and meditating, listening and declaring the Word. To live a victorious life, we must stay in the union with God daily.

Spiritual warfare is to give our affection and attention to God so that when those negative thoughts attack us, we have the Word of God to fight. By meditating on the Word, we are filling our minds with the Word, which the Holy Spirit will remind us of when the enemy tries to deceive us with lies. Every detail of the Sunday we experience here has to become a template of our daily life.

Seeing Jesus, not in the flesh 

2 Corinthians 5: 16-17 ESV – From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

We are a new creation in Christ. These verses have the power to change our perception of ourselves, others and our situations. Our perspective only changes when how we see Christ changes. Jesus lived on earth for thirty-three years. And his ministry was for the last three and a half years. During His ministry, He preached the gospel, healed the sick, delivered people who were demon oppressed and spoke peace over people. For us, this ministry period of Jesus acts as a reference point. Paul says that when our view of Jesus is limited to these years of ministry, we see Him in the flesh. When we relate to Jesus in the flesh, we see Him needing sleep and rest. We see Him in hunger.

However, we need to change our perspective of how we see Christ. The greater revelation of Christ is not limited to His ministry period but must have the foundation of the cross and resurrection. The finished work of Jesus on the cross and His reign at the right hand of the Father after resurrection changed the ministry life of Jesus that transitioned from his earthly life to his throne life. Thus for the last 2020 years, Jesus has been seated on the throne. When we relate to this status of Jesus, we no longer regard Him in the flesh. Our new reference point is of Jesus seated on the throne, far above every power, rule, authority, name, and dominion. This change in the reference point must change our perspective of looking at everything.

Sin distances us

Genesis 3: 8 ESV – And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil changed the perspective of Adam. However, many assume that God became distant from man when he sinned. But the above verse tells us that sin does not separate God from us but separates us from God. God didn’t hide from man, but man hid from God.

Next, we see that sin separates humanity from one another and brings a negative perspective of the circumstances that lead to death.

Genesis 2: 22-23 ESV– And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 3: 12 ESV– The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

When God saw Adam was alone, He brought many animals to Adam. But Adam could not relate to any. But when he saw Eve, he called her his own. In the first verse, we see Adam acknowledging Eve as a part of himself; after sin, he has become distant from her. The root cause of the conflicts we experience in our homes is sin.

Likewise, even our impression of our circumstances is corrupted by sin. For instance, if a car bangs into our car, we imagine that our car is broken. In other words, our perception of circumstance is also negative because of sin. When someone wears a dark pair of shades, everything they look at looks darker. Sin makes us look at ourselves, people, circumstances and God in a very negative manner. When Jesus was on the cross, wearing the glasses of sin, we saw how sin played with Him, that He felt that the Father was distant from Him. The same Jesus who had the revelation of God as the Father, which none of the old covenant heroes had, through the lens of sin, addresses His Father as God.

The lens of sin not only erodes our vision but also speaks to us. God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3.11). Sin talks to us. It is important to know that what we wear speaks to us. Before wearing the lens of sin, neither wilderness nor storms bothered Jesus. Even when people were trying to throw him off the cliff, he was not scared. Circumstances did not define Him, but He could see them through the righteousness of God. He knew who God was and who He was.

The Word on the Cross

Psalm 22 is a prophetic Psalm written by David on how the Savior would feel when He’s on the cross. The Jewish people knew all these Psalms by heart, so when Jesus cried out from the cross, they could make out that He was quoting the Psalm.

Psalm 22: 1 ESV – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 22: 6 ESV – But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.

Psalm 22: 8 ESV – “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

Psalm 22: 16 ESV – For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet

Jesus became sin, and He cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” When we wear the lens of sin, we feel forsaken by God. We belittle ourselves and feel that we are scorned and despised by others. When David was writing the Psalm, in those days, there was no concept of punishing people through crucifixion, but he wrote every Word the Messiah felt. This is another great evidence that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. When He who knew no sin took upon Himself the sin of humankind, He felt rejected, dejected, alone, sick and surrounded by enemies.

Psalm 22: 24 ESV – For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him.

From verse 24, we see how the Psalm changes so radically. Jesus always had the perfect picture of the Father, where He saw the Father as holy, loving, the One who accepted Him and was concerned about Him. Thus, Jesus always viewed the Father through the lens of righteousness. But on the cross, sin corrupted His perspective. On the cross, in that vulnerability, Jesus needed faith to believe in the goodness of God. We are saved by that faith of Jesus. He believed in the goodness of God even when he was on the cross. He did not stay on the downward spiral of negative thoughts

Jesus destroyed the power of sin, the perspective that sin had, by His faith. And we see that His final words were, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23.46)

Seeing in the Spiritual

Sin is an illusion that can pollute our vision. Lying, jealousy, mental oppression, sickness, and sexual immorality, are the fruit of this sin. They are the action of sinning. The root is the illusion that “I am separated from God.”

When Jesus destroyed the power of sin on the cross, He did it for Himself and humanity. And making us all partake in His righteousness. Thus, we are now called the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5.21). It seems illogical to become the righteousness of God without doing anything. If Jesus could become sin without doing anything, then we can become the righteousness of God. When we do not regard anyone according to the flesh, we have to see beyond the physical. God does not see people as bad mouthing, hurting, offended, mocking or irritated. Instead, He sees them in union with Him. God sees how they are redeemed through the cross. God sees them as His own. God looks at people beyond the physical and in the spiritual.

Through the cross

There is a very simple mystery to see in the spiritual. The mystery is to see through the cross. Seeing through the cross is to see beyond the natural and look at the redemption we have received in Christ. Fear of finances, mental oppression, jealousy, overthinking, or depression, everything has been redeemed. So if we can see how God sees us, others and our circumstances, our lives will be changed.

Through the cross, we have received a new perspective to view things, which we can use when there is a conflict in our homes, a crisis in our workplace, or a sudden loss. Everything and everyone we see around us has been redeemed. Without the narrative of resurrection and reigning of Christ, our view of the saviour will always be limited to knowing Him in the flesh.

Training in righteousness

There are three kinds of people:

1. Natural People- The worldly people who don’t know Jesus, who don’t have the Holy Spirit in them. They find the message of the gospel foolishness. So A natural man is the One who cannot understand spiritual things because spiritual things are discerned spiritually.

1 Corinthians 2: 14 ESV – The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

2. Carnal People- Those who are unskilled in the message of righteousness and who still feed on milk are carnal (Hebrews 5. 13). They have the Holy Spirit in them, but they have not exercised their spiritual senses. They are led by the flesh.

1 Corinthians 3: 1 ESV – But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.

3. Spiritual People- Spiritual people are those who have trained their spiritual senses to walk by faith. They see beyond their naked eyes by looking through the cross at everything and everyone. They are trained in the message of the cross.

Hebrews 5: 14 ESV – But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

For instance, we can learn the concepts of driving a car in a day. However, getting the coordination between hands and legs right can take weeks and months. And it may take years before driving becomes a smooth and enjoyable task. Likewise, if we want to apply the message of righteousness, we must train ourselves in it—hearing the message of righteousness because it is not a one-time event. By training ourselves to see things through the cross, we are training ourselves to move from operating like a carnal being to a spiritual being.

It is finished 

Hebrews 12: 2 ESV – looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

When Jesus was on the cross, none of His disciples was there for Him except John. He was beaten, bruised and naked. He took upon the sin of humankind which spoke to Him separation. All this must have been enough for Him to feel that He was a failure and could have gone through a downward spiral of negative thoughts. But He in faith saw Himself, the people and the situation as the Father sees and believed in the goodness of the Father. He could endure everything because He could see beyond the natural realm. At the moment, things might seem complicated, and it can seem hard for us to stand that brother of ours, but for the greater joy, let us endure it. For God has redeemed it through the cross. For instance, we see health and wholeness when we look at sickness through the cross. When we see through the cross, we can live as if all things we need for life and godliness have already been done because, at the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” The redemption we received is not a future event but has already been done more than two thousand years ago.

About the author

Samuel Thomas

Samuel is a second-generation pastor with a rich heritage in the Holy Spirit. He has been the pastor of Lighthouse Church since 2017 with a two-word mission statement: transforming lives. Samuel's priority in life has been to know Christ and to grow deeper in His love.

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