From the Desk of Steve Shultz:
I remember, in my more-or-less traditional church upbringing, that when it came time for us to take communion, I felt OBLIGATED, even instructed, to be and feel serious, even SAD at what Jesus had to do.
It would be a decade or two later when I would read a book by Merlin Carothers called "PRISON TO PRAISE" and listen to his "cassette tapes."
In one of those tapes, the Lord instructed Merlin to be happy and joyous, almost party-like in his heart for the Cross. Carothers was to feel so eternally happy, not in spite of the sufferings of Christ, but BECAUSE of them.
After all, Jesus suffered once and it was OVER! Jesus wants us to be gloriously joyous over the fact that He suffered FOR US.
In this article, Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda write:
"The truth and effectiveness of the Cross is simple enough for a child to enter fully. What happened at the Cross when God reconciled the world to Himself is a mystery we shall keep discovering for all eternity. Like the cascading force unleashed in the splitting of an atom, the action of Calvary will be ever unfolding in power."
Be happy and continually more and more joyous over the events of the CROSS, and even the sufferings of Christ on the Cross. Because of the Cross, all that is LIFE and LIFE, HIMSELF, comes to us! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
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Steve Shultz, Founder and Publisher
The Elijah List & Breaking Christian News
We have become completely new through the Cross of Christ. We were raised up by the Spirit in His resurrection.
The spiritual nature and image of Christ Jesus indwells us now. He gives us our new identity. In our new spirit-man, God has constructed His Temple. He is there in the Holy of Holies, and we have access through Christ's Blood hour by hour. The new man of glory has been brought home to his Father. If we are agents of recreation, we are messengers of the Cross.
The effect of the Cross is not only historic, it is as God is. Past, present, and future, the activity of the Cross endures, pro-acting, providing, protecting, and pronouncing a full disclosure of "I Am that I Am" (Exod. 3:14 KJV). Eternally, the Cross is an unstoppable chain reaction of exponential "life-giving." In the Cross, Jesus, the Last Adam, became the life-giving Spirit.
More than two decades ago, our local church Body experienced a visitation of the Holy Spirit. It was sovereign, powerful, and life-changing for all who entered the slipstream of His presence. One glory-filled morning, several people suddenly saw a simultaneous open vision of the Cross, tall and bloody, glorious and inviting, planted firmly in the center of the sanctuary. It seemed to gleam with radiant light that changed the evidence of its suffering into the most desirable of emblems. That was the day we realized that the glory we were receiving in that moment was flowing to us from the Cross of Christ in Jerusalem two thousand years ago! People present then still carry the transformation they received that day in the glory revealed in the Cross. They still vibrate with that glory (Matt. 17:5 ESV).
The truth and effectiveness of the Cross is simple enough for a child to enter fully. What happened at the Cross when God reconciled the world to Himself is a mystery we shall keep discovering for all eternity. Like the cascading force unleashed in the splitting of an atom, the action of Calvary will be ever unfolding in power.
The glory of the Cross is an explosive, eternal, energy-creating, continually-unfolding revelation of beauty. The Cross is the glory of God. In it we behold Him as He really is. Calvary must not be an aversion, or a thing of the past. For as long as we have mortal flesh, as long as we seek His power, we will find Him at the Cross. We'll find the power of the Spirit in the Blood. Calvary is not the rear view mirror. John looked present and forward through an open door in Heaven and saw the Lamb standing as slain (John 1:29). The writer of Hebrews heard the Blood speaking!
The Blood of Jesus surrounds His Spirit of glory to create a song of redemption that works like atoms splitting. When an atom splits, the core material becomes an uncontainable burst of energy. As it moves ever outward, those moving particles pierce those they make contact with. They are absorbed into the new atom and another explosion occurs. It bursts outward like a flood and repeats the same action in multiplied dimensions all around. It is a good illustration of the glory of the Cross, made effective through the Blood and brought alive to us by the Spirit. It is power that will change everything that receives it.
In our search for meaning as human beings, we must begin with the Word of God. We must take our compass readings from the Bible exactly as it describes and presents itself: a supernatural revelation both of God and of His design for humankind. The incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ unveil the ultimate demonstration of both of those realities. Just as without His death the entire mission of God in Christ would have no meaning or effect, so also the Bible without the Cross loses all meaning. (Photo via Unsplash)
An instrument of death is the symbol of Christian faith. For Believers it is the emblem of glory and victory. The atonement provides victory over sin, death, and the devil, reconciliation to the Father, and power for personal transformation. The predominant view of the Cross for the first thousand years of Christian history was as victory. Church father Irenaeus wrote, "The work of Christ is first and foremost a victory over the powers which hold mankind in bondage: sin, death and the devil."
'...They overcame [satan] by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Revelation 12:11)
The Cross is the focal point of the entire revelation of Scripture because the purpose of Scripture is to foretell what God had preordained to do in His eternal covenant with the race created in His image. The further intention of Scripture is to record the fulfillment of God's plan and to pass the record forward once Christ revealed it in the flesh.
Fullness of Glory
So let's look at Calvary in the cosmic sense. What really happened there? The New Testament Scriptures sum up the achievement of Calvary in three words: salvation, revelation, and conquest. At the Cross, the Son of God rescued us, fully disclosed Himself, and overcame evil. God was moved by the perfection of His holy love. That is the heart of the Cross. That is the glory of God. His completely complete work has made provision for every aspect of human life. Through His Blood, Jesus made propitiation for sin, paid the purchase price for our redemption, provided justification of grace just-as-if I'd never sinned, and reconciled us to the Father.
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10 KJV)
Enabled by Glory
The Cross enables us to begin to see God as He really is, for it is there that His true nature is demonstrated – the nature of self-giving without reserve, without end, without demand, and without strings attached. Calvary is the climax of Jesus' mission to Earth. There He embraced the sin that had alienated the human race from God and one another. There He returned us to our Father. There He made us His brothers and sisters in this world and the one to come. Pride and a self-serving nature is the foundation of the kingdom of darkness. Against that darkness Christ hurled Himself as the penalty for man's departure from God. He came down so that we might go up. He came here to be with us so that we might be with Him in His Kingdom.
Who can resist such love? This love includes judgment of all that we are, have been, and will be, and yet it extends to us freedom from condemnation. What occurred on the Cross released power overwhelming enough to completely undo the systems of this world and the spiritual kingdom of darkness. Like two sides of a coin, the Cross and the glory are one. Together they shine out, fully reflecting the face of Christ into our hearts.
God's glory is not a caprice of the Deity by which He keeps His creation hanging by a thread of desire. It bursts out all over His creation. When we look at the miracles of Jesus according to the timing and manner of their occurrence, we see they are often purposed to be specific demonstrations of His glory: the man healed as he washed in Siloam, and the sickness, death, and resurrection of Lazarus. Jesus nearly always defined the timing and manner of His miracles, together with the distress and suffering on the part of the persons involved, "for the glory of God."
The Cross Opens the Door
When you are in the glory of God, you feel as if your skin is smiling! We experience God's glory in a way similar to a child being overwhelmed by unexpected goodness, kindness, generosity, or the spectacle of a wonderful event like receiving a marvelous gift. (Photo via Unsplash)
The Holy Spirit makes God's glory evident and effectual. Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and ascension opened the door for the full revelation of God's glory. After what happened in the Garden of Eden, the Cross was the only plausible way to restore the glory of God to the human race that bears His image. Every effect has a cause and every cause an effect. The glory of God experienced in His creation is the pure effect of Calvary. Without Calvary there could be no salvation, no resurrection, and no glory. There had to be a viable and certain death of the old, sin-tarnished cosmos so a new glorious one could be born. The work of the Cross opened the way.
Throughout the language of Scripture, "the glory" belongs directly to the Lord. The glory is intimately God's. The glory never occurs apart from Him. His glory is always revealed in God Himself. His glory precedes and lingers after Him in evidence of His presence. Think of the lingering fragrance of an expensive perfume after the one wearing it embraces you, or of the lasting image of a bright light in your eye after the flash of a camera. The experience is the imprint of the previous one and is, itself, an experience. The glory is representative of and intrinsic to God because His glory is the demonstration of His being. The glory should be recognized as indicating that He is present and He is working.
The atmosphere of God's glory is an ongoing, abiding visitation. It is an enjoyable "place" in which everything comes into harmony:
"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them... They shall not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:6,9 ESV)
In the glory, light overwhelms darkness, hope overwhelms despair, joy supersedes mourning, and faith exiles unbelief. The Spirit of God settles down in rest and invites us to enter His glory. The place of the glory is always a place where Jesus is recognized, welcomed, exalted, and worshiped. His name is Emmanuel, "God with us" (Matt. 1:23).
"In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples – of Him shall the nations inquire, and His resting place shall be glorious. In that day the Lord will extend His hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of His people..." (Isaiah 11:10-11)
And so our hearts cry, "Show us Your glory!"
All that glory is revealed in just one book of the Bible! When we begin to speak of the glory, we begin to understand that the glory of God is a manifold presence of the Spirit of God at work. The Holy Spirit is our closest Companion. He has been sent out to find the perfect Bride for the Son of God. Daily, He is present to refresh and guide us, to strengthen and encourage us. He should not be neglected. He deserves your worship. He is present to fulfill the ministry of Christ in you. The Spirit is working to build the corporate Body of Christ into the full stature of a perfect man like unto the Son of God. And He is busy lovingly and excitedly preparing a Bride for the soon-coming Bridegroom. He is called the glory of the Father and He is residing within you.
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(Used by permission via¬†Destiny Image.
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda
Chavda Ministries International
Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda lead Chavda Ministries International, a worldwide apostolic ministry with over three miracle-packed decades of experience. The vision of CMI is to proclaim Christ's Kingdom with power, equip Believers for ministry and usher in revival, preparing for the return of the Lord. They are bestselling authors and, together, pastor All Nations Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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