From The Second Half of the Cross
This breadth and depth of divine/human experience is how Jesus, and only Jesus, can craft individually tailored life-plans different for every Christian disciple. Jesus can blend the heights of sublime achievement with the depths of divine humility through the cross, because He went before us in this regard to become the way, the truth, and the life…the author of our salvation. Jesus Christ as Savior means both the elevated Light of the world, and the lowly sacrificial Lamb of God for our sins.
This means that the breadth and depth of the opportunities for individual callings is almost limitless in our modern world. Instead of being incorrectly viewed through fearful unbelief as a limiting and narrowing approach to life, a biblical journey of faith following Jesus Christ is the most broadly liberating adventure in life that is possible (Jn 8:36). The part that is beneficially narrow in going through the “narrow gate” of Matthew 7:13-14 is that our self-centered ambition and stubborn adherence to self-in-charge will not fit through the gate leading to this journey of faith.
The second half of the cross is not opposed to the fullest realization of our talents and abilities. Jesus the Son of God spanned both the heights of divine achievement and the depths of loving self-sacrifice, combined together in perfect harmony. The Bible is the unprecedented and uniquely singular record of God taking flawed and fallible people and crafting them through a journey of faith into the fulfillment of their created potential.
This is possible because Jesus Christ our Sovereign King fills all-in-all…the height and the depth of what any of us will ever experience in our individualized callings of God. Jesus Christ fills all-in-all, from the low-point of the utter rejection of the cross (Isa. 53:3-6) to the high-point of the resurrection morning for the redemptive salvation of the world. Amazingly almost beyond comprehension, flawed and imperfect humans even need God’s help to teach us divine humility through the experiences of the cross.
With the life of Jesus, the cross is not divided into a first and second half as has been done in this book. Jesus experienced all parts of the cross in perfect totality. The divine love of God demonstrated through Jesus Christ, is the whole of the cross in its entirety. Even though Jesus Himself was without sin, He suffered the penalty for sin for us on the cross. The second half of the cross—death to self-will, self-direction, and self-reliance in favor of God the Father’s will and plan, is integral throughout the life of Jesus from beginning to end.
Through Jesus we have an opportunity to see into the very heart and character of God. In the life of Jesus, God is telling us that in His world where love and peace rule, there is no place for stubborn self-centeredness. In the idyllic, morally perfect reality of God, even the eternal Son of God is willing to step down off the throne of His human life in favor of God the Father, in order to fulfill His appointed role and calling as the Savior for mankind.