Jesus didn't die just to forgive us; Jesus died so we could be slave driver-free: here, now, today. Something is ruling my life other than God; and God steps down, without me deserving it, and He takes the slave driver away.
My only responsibility in that is: faith, and repentance; to change my mind, so that I don't keep going back to the slave driver, over and over and over; that I don't keep opening up my life to the same slave driver.
I started thinking about the cross a while back one of the questions I asked myself is this:
Where have I embraced the cross that saves me, but I've neglected the cross I've been commanded to pick up every day?
We love the cross that saves us, and forgives us, and heals us, and lets us into heaven. We love that cross, because Jesus bore that cross for us, and we don't have to do anything, so the pressure's off in that sense. We love that cross, and we should love that cross - we get to go to heaven; and not go to hell. We get to be forgiven instead of guilty - that's a preferable thing. Heaven/hell - choose heaven.
But the bigger deal is this: where have we embraced the cross that saves us; but there's a second cross, that we've been commanded to pick up, and we neglect that one?
Let me ask it this way: Where have we wanted mercy for ourselves, but justice for everybody else? We stuff something up really bad, and we're like: oh God, have mercy, oh God have mercy, oh God have mercy; but someone else messes up, and we're like: God will get them for that!
What part of us enjoys the fact that, when major men of God fall into sin, that it's all over the internet, and we read it? If we had done the same thing (some of us have done the same thing, we just didn't get caught) - we want mercy; but why do we want justice for other people?
The Bible says: judgement without mercy will be given to all those who aren't merciful, for mercy triumphs over justice. So where have we embraced the cross, that saves me and heals me and forgives me? Where have we put a fish on our car? Where have we done that; yet over here we degrade the intelligence of someone who disappoints us?
Does the girl at KFC know we're saved, even if she messes up our order? When someone cuts you off in traffic, do you point your finger at the sky? Then when you go around them the second time, they see the fish on your car. Does your husband know you're saved even if he leaves a wet towel on the floor? Does your wife know you're saved, even if she disappoints you?
Where have we embraced the cross that saves us, but neglected the cross that says: don't gossip and slander people; or the cross that says: to take care of the poor is a high honour? Main Message
In Exodus 3:7-8, the Lord is speaking to a group of people who've been enslaved for 430 years. That's a long time - twice as long as America has been a nation. This group of people were oppressed, marginalised, slaves - make bricks, make bricks without straw. These people were oppressed horribly, and this is what it says:
“The Lord said I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt, and I have heard them crying out because of their slave-drivers.”
Note the words slave-drivers. To a Hebrew person, salvation was not just about going to heaven one day. As a matter of fact, for the first 1,500 years of church history from Acts 2, if you asked anybody: ‘why did Jesus die on the cross’, no one would have said: Jesus died on the cross to forgive us of our sins.
Although that was true, and that's part of it, and we say: yes, amen; we're all about individual forgiveness, aren't we? The bigger issue is this: people said - Jesus died on the cross to defeat the devil, the enemy of our soul, and his entire way of life; that the cross was not primarily about heaven and hell, although that's what we've made it about.
That is true, we do get to go to heaven; we get to be forgiven, absolutely. But a bigger issue in that Jesus didn't just die to forgive us of sins. Jesus died so that sin could not be our master anymore.