If you plan to attend a new church, you better check it out. Churches can be very unsafe places these days! There are all kinds of pitfalls like the so-called “prosperity doctrine,” and “Mother Grace” which is about as biblical as “Mother Goose,” and on to “Seeker-friendly” social gatherings, that keep off words like “sinner” – and “cross!” So as not to offend!
“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:17-18.
NOW I want to turn to Colossians. Colossians is Christ-centred. Its main theme is Christology. Colossians is about Christ!
You cannot separate Christ from the cross. He willingly took it, and expects the same of His disciples. Still He looks for “disciples” not theologians.
He said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
Today I want to take you to the safest place on earth.
We do not have to physically leave the pew. We can make this journey by faith. In fact this is a journey that can only be made by faith!
Come with me today to Calvary. And as we climb we shall see three crosses. If somehow we can get ourselves to the other side of that middle cross, we shall be at the safest place on earth!
Behind the cross we are safe…
Behind the cross we are safe from God’s wrath!
“Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20
Darkness approaches. Four soldiers sitting in a circle divide His possessions between them, and gamble for His coat.
The storm clouds gather. There is lightning and thunder. This is no meteorological phenomenon. This is the wrath of God. His justice will be satisfied. Punishment will be meted out. The price of sin will be paid today.
Surely God’s wrath will strike at us poor sinners today! No! Dear friend, not if you get behind the cross! For the wrath of God will strike that cross – but behind the cross we are safe from God’s wrath!
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6.
“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself!” Stand behind the cross of Christ and you will share in that reconciliation. God Who throws judgment at Christ on the front of that cross, will throw His arms around you behind the cross.
Behind the cross we are safe from the Law’s curse!
Shakespeare said: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!” He was wrong! There is no torture worse than that of broken law.
“…[You] hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” _ Colossians 2:13-14 .
Now this is not the false doctrine of “Mother Grace!” – that tells us not to confess our sins. (I am talking about FORGIVEN sin!”
Remember the lines of the hymn: “My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!— My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
The LAW has a good supply of weapons to hurl at us: Paul calls it a “list of ordinances that is against us.”
There’s a list of the things we should not have done – but we did! And a list of things we should have done, but didn’t do. And on a daily basis, when our OLD NATURE can get our attention it brings out the list, and slowly it reminds us of those wrongs. Even Paul suffered with this.
But behind this cross is quietness. Holy quietness. Here the law can only hold its finger to its mouth in sweet silence.
Behind the cross we are safe from Satan’s attacks!
“Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” Colossians 2:15.
Oh! I love that word “disarmed!” The enemy of our soul seeks those he may devour. But behind the cross we are safe – for there he has been disarmed!
The Lord Jesus Christ made a public spectacle of Satan and his companions.
I can imagine Satan gloating in triumph as Jesus is nailed to Calvary’s cross.
This is what he had wanted. “Kill the heir, and I will take over!” he had commanded his cohorts.
But all too late Satanic headquarters had realized that this cross was part of the eternal plan of God!
And Satan himself had even had a part in bringing about that plan. He had entered into Judas Iscariot, and convinced him to betray the Son of God!
If he had know what Christ’s blood could do, he would have done all he could to stop it!
How do I know that? Because 1 Corinthians 2:8 says so…
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. ” 1 Corinthians 2:7-8.