“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
The cross is the brightest display of God’s glory that ever was or will be. From that place of horror and evil, the goodness and beauty of God will forever shine. There God triumphed over hatred and anger and all sin. Only God in the flesh could endure such evil without becoming evil in return. Only God’s love could keep loving in the face of such hatred.
Jesus had told His disciples what they were to do: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44) And then, before they were deeply tested, He stood the test – the Shepherd went before the sheep – He did what He called them to do.
Oh the glory of the cross! No majestic mountain, no beautiful sunset can match it. We behold the glory of God in all the details of the life of Christ. But it is in His death that the glory of God shines the brightest. Would we shine as our Shepherd did? Will we be His disciples indeed? Then we must take up our cross and do as He did.
How easy it is to love our friends, to bless those who bless us, to give to those who give to us. Even those who don’t know God are able to do that. Jesus calls us to love one another even as He has loved us, demonstrating supernatural grace and glory. To be like Jesus, Jesus must be in us. The power of Christ in us is our hope of glory.
Loving like Christ loved IS the “greater works ministry,” – greater than casting out devils, greater than healing the sick, greater than raising the dead. And our greatest opportunities to let our light shine before men is often right before us.
Crosses are not hard to find when we know where to look. Who has hated you without a cause? Who has repaid you evil for good? Who has failed to show you kindness and love? There your cross will be. Take it up. Arise and shine! Let the beauty of your Lord be seen upon you.