April 3rd, 2019
During this Lenten season we have been reflecting on the cross. We have been working through what the cross means and the different aspects of the cross. Last week we looked at the cross as demonstration; God’s demonstration of His love for us in Jesus Christ. This week we will look at the idea of the cross as investment; God’s investment in us. We will be using the model of marriage and the church as the “bride of Christ.”
Prayer – “Merciful Lord, you are the source of all good things. We thank you for entrusting us with your many gifts. Help us to be good stewards of what is yours, even as we trust to you our own cares and concerns. In this happy exchange, let us never forget our dependence upon you for all your gifts of grace. In the name of your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
In the Old Testament there is a prophet named Hosea. To shorten the story, God commands Hosea to marry someone that is unfaithful to him, a woman named Gomer. Gomer breaks her marriage covenant with Hosea. She worshiped her own pleasure and freedom more than she valued and wanted to be in a relationship with Hosea. Nevertheless, God commanded Hosea to stay with Gomer and take care of her, despite her behavior.
Hosea and Gomer are a metaphor for Israel’s relationship to God. The Israelites were full of idolatry (much like Gomer’s adultery). Despite worshiping other gods and putting their comfort ahead of God, God stays faithful to Israel. God is invested in Israel in the same way that He is invested in us.
God goes a step beyond faithfulness. He invests in us by taking on the punishment for our unfaithfulness. Take a look at Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Through Jesus Christ, God exchanges our burdens and gives is to His Son. God invests in us through this happy exchange of our burden for Christ’s righteousness.
This exchange and investment mean something tangible for our lives. We no longer live for ourselves, but we live for Christ. We live the life of Christ in us. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, “ For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
The cross demonstrates that God is invested in us. Because of this investment we have a future. What rightfully belongs to Jesus has been given to us.