The Cross and the Kingdom
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
Everything the Father has done for mankind since the creation will culminate when His Kingdom is established on earth. The New Jerusalem, will come to earth and God’s righteousness will rule forever.
This all began at the Cross.
Those of us who have believed in and put our trust in Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the Messiah are now citizens of His coming Kingdom. We have the promise of Jesus Christ that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness all things we need in this life will be supplied to us. We may not always get what we ask, but we are promised our needs or daily bread will be supplied by the Father’s provision.
So then the ultimate Plan of God will be fulfilled at the culmination of this present evil age when His Kingdom is established on earth. At that time those who are citizens will have eternal life and live in His Kingdom in a lifestyle which the world has been clamoring for, but are not able to achieve.
A question one might ask is where does this Kingdom life begin and who is this Kingdom for?
I believe the Kingdom life begins at the Cross of Jesus Christ. I believe the Kingdom life is available for all men and women who accept God’s grace, and mercy, of the gift of salvation.
With this said, I would like to share my personal story with you:
About twenty years ago my manner of life brought me to the place where I was confronted with the reality of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Something happened that day that changed my life forever.
I was alone at home and had come to the conclusion that even though I wanted to serve Jesus Christ, I could not because in all honesty I was still a sinner. I was well aware of my shortcomings and struggles and was ready to throw in the towel and quit trying to serve Him.
This is when I began getting a deep agonizing feeling in my gut, or as the Apostle Paul would say in my “bowels.” Like I said, I so wanted to serve the Lord but I knew I was still a sinner. Therefore I concluded that I could not do anything for Him. This deep feeling was so strong that it felt as if my gut was going to burst at the seams. I began to realize there was a battle going on within myself. I was lying flat out on my living room floor and telling the Lord with tears I could not serve him due to the weakness of my flesh. Then suddenly a scripture flashed in my mind. “Oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death?”
Immediately another thought quickly followed indicating that Paul was a spiritual man trapped inside a sinful body, and that whenever he desired to do good, evil was present in him. Paul was trapped and he realized that within his flesh was dwelling no good thing.
It was then I realized that Paul at one time felt similar to the way I was. After contemplating this, I finally came to understand that as long as I am alive sin would be dwelling in my flesh. I also realized that in Christ I was given a power to exercise dominion over this evil.
When I was saved I was given a gift of holy spirit which is the spirit that has the power to overcome the sin dwelling in my flesh. This may also be called the spirit of obedience.
I began to see that through what Christ accomplished on the Cross I was given the power to overcome sin and given the ability to serve my Lord.
Now I could serve Him even in my imperfection.
Now Grace made strong in my weaknesses.
Now Grace is an ever present unmerited divine favor.
Now Grace is power given by Christ which is sufficient for me to overcome the infirmities in my flesh.
Then suddenly as if in a dream I found myself at the foot of the cross at Calvary. In my mind’s eye this was as real to me as if I were watching a movie with all its color and sound.
There I was laying stretched out with my arms wrapped around the foot of the cross sobbing. As I looked up I saw His bruised and bloodied feet, and the rusty nail that had been cruelly driven through them.
As I clung to the cross I slowly lifted my head and looked higher until I saw His legs which showed the marks of the cuts caused by the whips. They were badly bruised with the blood running down and dripping on my face.
I began to weep as I heard the wind howling and saw the low hanging ominous dark clouds blocking out the sun. The wind and dust in what seemed like a crazed frenzy blowing around the place of the skull. Some of the bystanders stared at Him while some wept uncontrollably.
There He was my Lord hanging helpless. His life almost gone from His body. He had been brutalized and mangled beyond recognition. His bones were out of joint and parts of His ribs were exposed. It looked as if there was not any place on his body that was not bruised or broken, or torn. The wound made by a soldiers spear in His side was open and oozing out both blood and water. I saw Him struggle to take each breath, while some people spit on Him and called Him names.
With my eyes, now flooded with tears, began to look higher until I saw His head hung to one side with the thorns insisting on digging deep into His bloodied scalp. His face was bruised and swollen, worse than any boxer I had ever seen after a brutal fight. His left eye was swollen shut, and His right eye was barely visible.
All this seemingly happening before my very eyes and not realizing that I was in a position of prayer called obeisance with my arms stretched around the base of the cross with His blood drops falling on my face.
Then He took one last deep painful breath. Just then His almost shut right eye caught my eyes and I realized He was looking at me with a pure love, forgiveness, and acceptance. No matter what I had done to sin against God and humanity before He loved me.
Suddenly He cried, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Then came His last words.
“It is finished!”
Suddenly the labored breathing which caused Him excruciating pain stopped. He offered up His live as a sacrifice to the Father.
His head fell limp.
He was dead!
Then as they slowly and carefully took Him down from the cross, I could hear some say, “Will He rise again in three days as He said He would?”
Three days later He arose from the dead and He is still alive today active in the affairs of men. He is still calling all who will believe in His name and saving and forgiving all of their transgressions committed against God and man.
As took this all in I was filled with the most relieved emotion I had ever felt before. A flood of peace came over me as any doubts of being able to serve Him were now washed away and gone!
I was cleansed by His precious blood.
I was empowered by His grace.
In this moment of time that I spent on my living room floor, I realized without a doubt that I had been to the cross where my Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.
I cannot explain this occurrence but it is real to me. Now I am able to serve Him because His willing sacrificial death paid the full payment for all my sins. And not only my sins but yours also and the sins of the entire world.
Now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am His and He is mine! He is my Lord and my savior and He is my King.
Nothing will ever be able to separate me from Him ever again.
Without the Cross of Christ there is no forgiveness of sin and there would be no Kingdom coming in the future.
Without the Cross of Christ all mankind would be still lost and doomed to misery.
Praise the Father Who sent His only begotten Son to usher in eternal life and His coming Kingdom.