About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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From The Cross To The Throne


I have been legally blind from birth and have been unable to drive a car.  That means I've done a lot of walking in my life.  I was also born into the Methodist tradition and its old hymns, like "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross," often echo through my mind as I walk the streets.  Like many who were raised as I was, the cross of Christ holds great significance in my life, and for good reason.  That being said, I learned years ago that asking Jesus to keep me near the cross is a bit Biblically problematic.


I certainly understand the metamorphic significance to asking Jesus to keep me near the cross, but the cross of Christ is a one time historical event, never to be repeated.  I also realize that the cross was never a Christian symbol until a few centuries after its reality.  So, laying aside the metaphor and the symbolism, do I want to be near a cross where both the cross and Jesus cannot be found? 


Don't get me wrong.  The cross of Christ has major eternal implications for everyone everywhere, and that includes Jesus Himself.  One eternal implication of the cross can be seen in Jesus' ministry right now as He sits on His universal throne.  He is our present-day atoning sacrifice, representing us to God on our behalf, just as He did while He was on the cross (1 John 2:1 - 2).  His very presence before God expresses the ongoing reality that He is still the sacrificial Lamb who died on the cross to remove our sins from the heavenly record.  For that reason God's grace always flows in our direction, not from the cross of Christ but from the throne of Christ.   


Jesus is the ultimate universal authority who will open the seven-sealed scroll that brings this age to an end (Revelation 5:6).  In that passage He is portrayed as a sacrificial lamb, the very Lamb of God.  Even as Jesus rules from His eternal throne, His very essence is an eternal expression of the cross.  If you could see Him sitting on His throne right now, there would be something about Him that reminds you of the cross.      


Here is the Biblical fact.  Right now, in real time, Jesus is the ultimate universal authority (Mathew 28:18).  In actuality, then, the precious fountain that we sing about in the hymn "Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross" flows, not from Calvary 's mountain but from the throne of Christ.  Is what I'm saying merely a matter of semantics, something not worth writing about?  I suggest not.  In today's world where there is so much cultural confusion, turmoil and uncertainty, it is important for us to know beyond any doubt that Jesus is ruling from His throne.  Our cultural ills do not faze Him in the least.  He is in control.  He has the final word over all things.  This reality must be secured deep into our souls where it becomes the conviction whereby we live in this present anti-Christ culture. 


I certainly get the metaphor and the symbolism of wanting to be kept near the cross, but personally speaking, I want to be kept near the throne. 


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