The Promise of the Cross

By Faythe A. Dobbs. The event of the cross is unique in that it is an accomplished fact; yet it bears a promise that was looked to with expectation before it happened, and now we also look to this promise. Promise, in one sense, is an agreement to do (or not do) something. Because of the cross and Christ’s work there, I can put my trust in Him.I agree to join in covenant relationship with Him. Promise, in another sense, means to give a basis for expectation. What can we expect as a result of the cross for our lives?

The word cross itself evokes thoughts of suffering and pain. During this time of year especially, we think of Christ on the cross. And when we hear the verse about bearing our own cross, it is hard to respond enthusiastically. But how many of us see the cross as a way to joy? Certainly Christ saw the cross as necessary to the attainment of joy. Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus “who for the joy set before him endured the cross.”

How do I personally envision the cross? Is there promise in the cross for me, or is my focus on an event that happened 2,000 years ago with little eternal significance? Sometimes I can empathize with C. S. Lewis who, soon after his conversion, said, “The irrational dead weight of old skeptical habits, the spirit of this age and the cares of this world steal away all my lively feeling of the truth.” And I might add -joy! So what present promise does the cross hold for me? I have enough trouble just picturing the event itself. It is hard to put my twentieth-century self- with its sanitized, Americanized mindset – back to the scene at Cal

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