TEXT: 1SAMUEL 21:6, 8-9
"And the priest said, The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom thou
slewest in the valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth
behind the ephod: if thou wilt take that, take it: for there is no
other save that here. And David said, There is none like that; give
In the first part of this meditation, we discovered that when light is beemed on a standing or suspended sword, it casts, naturally, a crosslike shadow: its shadow looks like a cross. Here in this part of our meditation, we would like to say also that the shadow casts, when light is beemed on a sword, particularly when it is standing, gives us a shadow that looks like a man standing with his hands wide open.
The cross itself makes a provision where a man's two hands could be nailed to. So, when a man is on the cross, he seems to be telling the whole world that he is not holding to anything. A man on the cross is impotent and not capable of hold unto anything to his breast. Up there, he cannot even wipe away his sweat, neither could he touch anything. The cross of Christ simply means a life that is open to humanity. A life of hospitality and sheer accommodation.
The cross is a life that cuts across all sentiments, conviction, tribes and opinions. A man that has embraced the cross of Christ, has his hands wide open to all men. It was said of our Lord, "This man receives sinners and eats with them..." Any man on the cross has his arms wide open and ready to embrace all men! The cross makes a man generous: he engraces a man with the ability to let go things that are beneficial to humanity for the sakes of christ and fellow humanity.
The presence of tight-feastedness amongst the saints, is as a result of the want of the working power of the cross. When the message of the cross is neglected on our pulpits, the natural man comes alive. If we stop practicing the doctrine of dying daily on the cross, attention would be turned to ourselves. For instance, if a light is beemed on a man that is looking at himself and attempting to cover his nakedness with his hands, we would have a figure like a straight plank or a standing cylinder: it would no longer look like a cross! So when we become selfcentered, the cross gets out of the equation!
The doctrine of the cross suggests losing sight of oneself. It is a denial of ourselves! Selfcenteredness is antichrist because it does not spring from the cross of Christ. The Christian life is the life of the cross: the life of the cross is the one of letting go! It is not, in a sense, a life of keeping and retaining for selfush interest. As a matter of fact, it is in giving that he receives! It is a call to sell all and give to the poor! He does not hold tightly to anything earthly!
This means that the life of the cross is not a slave to any passion neither is he mastered by any sentiment. It is a life devoid of any holding and possessing. It is a pure and undiluted life. He knows that all things on earth perishes with using. He does not lose peace when he loses anything earthly neither does he loses sleep over the estimate of men about him. He endures the pains from the cross and despises the shame of same.
Moreover, when our Lord Jesus was hanging on the cross, he was in pain(but chose to endure same) He was naked(but chose to despise the shame therefrom). Pain and nakedness! Endurance and despite! The Christian life is the daily bearing of the cross of Christ. If it is thus, then there are pains to endure and shame to despise. The pain of letting go! The pain of loving those who hate you. The sorrow of going out of your way to please others for their edification. It is a life of liberty, yet we are called to not misuse our liberty. Any Christianity that is devoid of this kind of pain must be questioned.
Furthermore, there is a shame to despise. The shame here is not only the fact that our Lord was naked on the cross, but the fact that He was not allowed to come down and save Himself from the Roman soldiers. He was prevented to do that because of the joy set before Him: the joy of bringing many sons unto glory. He should be ashamed that a popular man like Him was counted amongst robbers. Imagine a pastor in police cell! Everybody would read meaning to that.
The Lord was treated like a robber and thief. All of these come from the cross. But the Lord despised them all! The shame of letting go good things of life for Christ, should be despised! Turning our back on ungodly attires may call for name calling from the world and even from some light saints...we must be ready to despise them. Being called old fashion and obsolete may evoke shame, but we must pour contempt on it. To be continued
Emeka Joe Uzosike