Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

The Cross of Christ

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on January 10, 2009

"God showed His LOVE for us in that why we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ~Romans 5:8

“God showed His LOVE for us in that why we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” ~Romans 5:8

For the next few weeks (or however long God desires it) I will review a series of talks given by Archbishop Fulton SheenI will try as best as I can to quote him accurately – thus all his direct quotes will appear in italics and in “quotation marks” .

May I highly recommend purchasing his books (for those who love to read) or his videos (for those of us who are more ‘visual learners’).  The information he presents is more than timely and may even have you looking at the publishing date thus realizing we have a prophet in our midst!  (cf. CCC§962)

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Last night I watched a hidden treasure, one that everyone should be aware of, presented by a man who still reaches modern day audiences, though now from heaven!

I am speaking of Archbishop Fulton Sheen.  He has written over 90 books and made countless public appearances, both on TV and in speaking engagements.  Retreats, lectures, catechesis to all ages – young and old!  One such talk he gave was on the topic of the Cross of Christ and its importance.

But before I get into what Sheen’s talk says, I’d like to take us on a walk down memory lane.  Why is the Cross of Christ so important?  Why do we need it?  Why does the Cross deserve more than just our respect?

Our beginning began as very good ~Gen 1:31b

Then God gave us one simple commandment…

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” ~Gen 2: 15-17

But apparently, this was too much for us to follow…

…the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate.  Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. ~Gen 3: 4-7

Both man and woman ate of the fruit.  Both man and woman heard the lie of the serpent and believed him.  Both man and woman disobeyed God! The result?…

Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned… ~Romans 5:12

“In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” ~Gen 3:19

Man was now mortal – doom to suffer corruption as a result of his sin that would ultimately lead to his death.

Worse than that, man was now completely cut off from God!  Man could no longer walk and talk with God – a shared intimacy – as they (Gen 1:27) did in the garden…

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” ~Gen 3:8-9

But even though Man was not cut off from God, from the intimacy they had with Him in the garden; God gave Man a promise:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” ~Gen 3:15

And in the fullness of time (Gal 4:4), God sent His only Son because…

Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. ~Rom 5:18-19

HOW?  By the Cross, of course.

But God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation. ~Rom 5: 8-11

That is why the Apostle Paul … and us as well … can say:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ~Gal 2:20

Consider the following…

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” ~Jn 12:24

And that fruit is…

…since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by His blood, to be received by faith… ~Rom 3: 23-25a

In just a few short passages, we can see that, without the Cross of Christ there is no hope.  Our death would be permanent without any semblance of LIFE with God – a permanent return to our original home that God had to exile us from.  THAT, dear brother’s and sisters, is the Goal of Christianity in a nutshell: TO GET HOME!!!  Home to a loving God who spared no expense for us to be reconciled to Himself!

Hungry?…  Come back for more and meet Archbishop J. Fulton Sheen!

Further Reading:

Jonah and the Cross
*Part I
*Part II
*Part III

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