The True Centre of Existence

Dec 27, 2014 1513

By Desmond Ford

Cross and Crown of ThornsNot the life of Christ, not the teachings of Christ, but his sacrificial death alone provides the motivation that we need. It offers a fulcrum and a lever that can heave our lives up to the heights. This is the only way we can get out of ourselves. It is of no use to try and whip ourselves up to certain religious emotions in order to discharge certain duties.

Only when faith is used as an eye to focus upon Christ on the terrible tree, and the hand to lay hold of him as a personal redeemer, shall we become united with the very power of the heavenly throne itself. If we want ice to melt, we put it out in the sunshine, and if we want a mirror to gleam, we do not spend all our time in polishing it, but rather we carry it where it can catch the sun’s rays and flash them back in glory. Scripture says, “We love him because he first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). All that we do that is good is but an echo of God’s good.

To contemplate Calvary and to recognize our part in it is to find in God a new center. To understand the meaning of that event is to find self displaced. We can no longer live to ourselves, says the apostle (Rom 14:7; 2 Cor 5:15). To know that we are loved, despite what we are, inclines us to love others despite what they are. To see the evidence of the patience of God towards us inspires us to be patient with the rest of our kind. To catch a glimpse of the hope of Paradise offered to a penitent thief arouses in us an undying hope which can transcend ”the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” To behold Christ’s willing subjection to his crucifixion energizes us in a way that nothing else can.

Call upon him until he reveals that we, too, died on that cross, and that we are now Christ’s; and the only life that we have is the one he has given us. Then we will confess that we are not our own, for we were bought with a price. Then it will be true as we behold heaven’s wondrous grace that “sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom 6:14).

Henceforth we shall live no longer for ourselves but for him who for our sake died and was raised again. There is no other way to right living, to health of body and soul.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32 (From “Why Do We Never Learn – Part II.”)

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