You have looked at your body thousands of times over the years, but how often do you take a good long look into your soul? How would one even go about doing such a thing?
When your eyes look in a mirror, you see a reflection of your physical appearance. And when your mind is presented with the message of the cross, your response to the Gospel reflects the condition of your soul.
Here is how it works.
“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
The apostle who penned those words spoke with experience having lived on both sides of the fence. Saul of Tarsus hated Christians and despised the message of the cross. After his conversion, however, Saul was named Paul and became an apostle who faithfully served Jesus. Faith in Christ led Paul to write, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).
When your spirit is dead, the message of the cross seems foolish and means nothing to you. When your spirit is alive, you view the cross with deep appreciation as your lifeline to forgiveness and eternal salvation in Heaven.
A person is saved, redeemed, justified, born again and forgiven through faith in Christ, and the message of the cross instantly becomes “the power of God” in your life the moment you are converted.
Don’t look for truth by examining your feelings; instead, look to the cross and believe the good news.
Jerry Bridges said, “If we want proof of God’s love for us, then we must look first at the cross where God offered up his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Calvary is the one objective, absolute, irrefutable proof of God’s love for us.”
Do you cherish the cross as the ultimate demonstration of how much God loves you, or is the cross of Christ not even on your radar? Do you adore your Savior who endured excruciating agony to pay for your sins, or is the cross nothing more than a religious symbol to you that carries little or no meaning?
Martin Luther said, “Is it not wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside ourselves?”
If you desire to be saved and forgiven of your sins, don’t look inside yourself; look outside yourself to the cross where Jesus paid the full price for your sins.
- “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).
- Billy Graham said, “God proved his love on the cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”
- “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” (Romans 5:8,9).
- Either your body became a temple of the Holy Spirit the moment you trusted Jesus to forgive your sins, or you remain lost in your sins and in desperate need of spiritual conversion. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
- Have you been born again at the cross? Do you view the crucifixion of Christ with apathy, or do you rely upon the cross for the forgiveness of your sins and a fantastic future in Paradise? (Revelation 2:7).
- Until you embrace the cross as the payment for your sins, your soul will remain lost and separated from God. And as long as you keep trying to earn your way to Heaven by your deeds, you will never get there. “All who rely on observing the Law are under a curse” (Galatians 3:10).
A common trait among those heading in the wrong direction is that they seem oblivious to the horror that awaits them when they die (Matthew 13:37-43). That is unless they “repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15) as Jesus declared in His first sermon.
And the most widely-known statement Jesus ever made was the good news of the Gospel presented in John 3:16: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
Phillips Brooks said, “Love was compressed for all history in that lonely figure on the cross, who said that he could call down angels at any moment on a rescue mission, but chose not to — because of us. At Calvary, God accepted his own unbreakable terms of justice.”
In order to look into your soul today, you will need to look back 2,000 years to the cross where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified. Do you believe Jesus is your Savior who shed his blood to rescue you from sin and death?
And if not, will you place your faith in Jesus? Will you come to Christ today and believe in the One who was sacrificed for your sins? God calls people to faith in the cross and faith in his Son. “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart” (Hebrews 3:7).
“God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). “Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
When you look at yourself in the mirror, remember the most important part of you is invisible. Your soul is immortal. It is the real you.
So what do you see when you look into your soul at the cross?
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.