Maxwell’s book, Born Crucified, brings home our living relationship with the LORD Jesus, but it is based on His death. Before there was the resurrection, there was the crucifixion. There are so many excellent stories in each chapter that Maxwell draws from to illustrate his points, it is hard to choose just what to put in a short post that will encourage people to be drawn closer to the cross of Christ. Here are some clips from the chapter titled, The Cross and the Crucified.
THINGS DID NOT GO WELL in the home. The young man had an unhappy marriage. One day when they were out for a boat ride he accidentally (?) upset the boat and drowned his wife. But the law caught up with him and sentenced him to death for his crime. The last night before his execution his father was allowed to stay with him in his cell. The next morning the authorities led the son out to death. A few moments later they called for the old heart-broken father. As he stood there over the poor lifeless frame of his boy, he said, "Oh, my son, if only I could impart to you my life–if only I could put my life into you that you might become the man I had intended you to be." Even so. Christ has for me an abundant fullness of life. He yearns over me that I may become partaker of His own divine nature–that I may become the Christian He has intended me to be.
"In Christ" crucified, I died. "In Christ" risen, I am resurrected. But He carries every mark of His death into His resurrection. Without His death He would not be the resurrected One. He now lives as the Crucified to make good the power and efficacy of His almighty death. And I am a "partaker of Christ," grafted into Him as the branch into the vine. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." In the light of the Cross sin’s dominion is "no more." In living realization of my union with Him, I should say to temptation a NO that "carries with it the power of the inward presence of the risen Lord." Far more, then, than any broken-hearted father, does the Lord Jesus yearn to impart to us His own crucified-resurrected life–a life obedient unto death under the severest temptations and testings.
Mrs. Penn-Lewis tells of a missionary who "had a dream that greatly impressed him. It was of the Cross of Christ. However, it was not the Savior’s bleeding form which held his eye. It was an exceedingly ugly thing, an indescribably loathsome thing, the nature of which he could not make out. What was this thing which so horrified him? Later, as he heard the message of identification,. and realized that with Christ he had been crucified, the Spirit revealed to him that this loathsome thing he had seen in his dream, was none other than himself.’ (F. J. Huegel in Bone of His Bone.)
The story is told of a wealthy Christian merchant who had an only son whom he loved dearly, and who grew into noble young manhood. The father was wrapped up in his son’s future and success. One night a boy who had led a criminal life from childhood broke into the home and attempted to kill the son. For days it seemed that the son would not live. But when he became conscious and was able to hear of what had occurred, he was shown the picture of the boy who had attempted to take his life. His heart was touched by the youthfulness of the lad. A desire was awakened in the son to try to save this lad from a life of crime. The father finally consented to the suggestion that the young criminal be taken into the home, adopted as a son and brother, and in time share the inheritance. It was with great difficulty that the young criminal was persuaded of their sincerity. Finally convinced, he agreed to their proposal. Old habits, however, had such a hold upon him that time after time he fell back into evil ways, until the father almost despaired of ever being able to help him. But father and son, in spite of discouragement, held on and lavished their blessings upon him. One day at the height of the father’s despair he went into the criminal boy’s room and there noticed a picture of his own son. He picked it up and scanned it. The picture bore the marks of much thumbing and handling, and on the back of it was written "Oh, I do so want to be like you, because you have done so much for me; but it seems as if I never can be good." Hope sprang up in the father’s breast. His efforts were finally rewarded when the one-time criminal became "good." Have you longed and sighed to be Christ-like? You have said to the Lord Jesus, "Oh, I do so want to be like Thee, because Thou hast done so much for me; but it seems as though I never can be good."
What an excellent example of what God the Father did for us in adopting us due to the intercession of the Son.
A letter just at hand from one of our graduates so well illustrates the truth that we quote it in part: So long I struggled to get to a place where it wouldn’t be this everlasting up and down existence. I earnestly desired a victorious Christian life but the more I worked for it, the more miserable I became. I tried to attain unto it by prayers, obedience, resolutions and vows, but all to no avail. I had been saved from the guilt of sin by faith in Christ. Why should I have been so stupid as to think that by works I could be saved from the power of sin? I praise the Lord for the Cross; for when all hope failed of ever shaking off the fetters of sin, through the Cross I rose victor over the power of sin. When nothing else could avail, death set me free.
Have fun and stay crucified – Galatians 2:20
-The Orange Mailman