D.A Carson’s has said: “How can Christians stand beside the cross and insist on their rights?”
Reading this quote got me to thinking about how so many of us are extremely hung up on having our “personal rights” satisfied! We demand respect, to have our opinion heard, our side of the story told, justice, financial gain and a host of other stuff that we believe we are entitled to on a daily basis. In many respects, we remain like the Kindergartner who has to be the first one in line.
In light of the cross, how can this be? The shadow of our crucified Savior grows long over our daily lives and conflicts and ought to remind us that He who knew no sin became our sin (2 Cor. 5:21). He surrendered all of His rights (John 6:38, Phil 2:7-8) because it pleased the Father and brought Him glory (John 13:31).
You and I are to be image bearers according to Romans 8:29, which means literally that we have been selected in eternity past to be fashioned like, and resemble Jesus Christ in every respect. The unchanging message of the gospel is one of living death on earth and eternal life in heaven. Our living death takes place in the shadow of the cross as we surrender day after day these precious things we consider our rights, as we take up our burden to die to all that we hold dear about who we are and what we are “entitled” to.
It means we cease to fight and struggle to get our side of the story out, or to gain the respect we believe we are due and instead we surrender ourselves to Him to judges justly.
Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. 1 Peter 4:19 (NASB)
This is what I believe living in the shadow of the cross to look like, entrusting my suffering soul to Christ as I do what is right in spite of how I feel.