From ancient times to modern, a flag being raised in battle is a rallying point for soldiers. If the flag goes up-the soldiers surge forward, circle around it, or in some way use it as a guide. A flying flag means victory or it means "We're still in this!" No matter the specifics the flying flag is the place where soldiers unite. For us, as Christians, their is only one rally point-and that is the cross of Christ. We do not rally at the theology of John Calvin. We do not rally at the traditions of the Catholic Church. We do not rally to Billy Graham, Jacob Armenian, John Piper, or Bill Johnson. We don't rally to the Methodist movement, Baptist movement, or non-denominational movement. We rally to the CROSS!
The day those soldiers lifted Jesus up on that cross was the day our rally point was set-and it has not changed. But what is the cross? The cross is death. Death to this world. Death to the flesh. Death to selfish ambition. Death to sin. Death to slavery. Death to "my way." Death to fear, guilt, and shame. Yet their is a peculiar characteristic of Christians. When a rally point is raised in battle, the soldiers don't take their time getting there. They don't linger in their current circumstance. Once the flag goes up-getting their becomes the priority. The peculiar characteristic is this: No one seems to be in a hurry to get to the cross. We've known our rally point for 2,000 years. Yet we often linger, lollygag, and wait. Paul says that we're in a race and we should run as to win the prize; but if the race ends at the cross then what is our prize? Death. The truth is- since death is up on that hill-we aren't racing to it.
Brothers, sisters-we must race to die. We must rally to the cross. If we don't desire it more than anything else, if we don't strive for it more than any worldly thing then we have missed the whole point. People fear death because they love this world and they love themselves. Christians fear the cross because they are afraid they are going to lose something. They are right. But hear me out Beloved. The only thing you lose when you go to the cross is something you never were. This world, your sin, offenses against you, mistakes by you, lies, deception, confusion, all of these things have given you an identity that was never yours to begin with. You are afraid to let go of it because it has been you for so long. So hear me clearly-
WHAT THIS WORLD HAS MADE YOU IS NOT YOU.
The Father, who knit you together, holds your truest self. He knows you. He loves you. He is waiting to restore to you your true identity. He gave everything for you. He asks for everything in return. He wants everything you think you are so he can make you into everything he sees you as. So is their death at the cross? Yes. Yes there is. But the thing that dies is the old you. This rally point, this cross-it unites because it brings life.
The only way for you to accomplish what God designed for you to do-is to become the son or daughter he designed you to be. The only we he receives the glory he deserves, we find the satisfaction we crave, and the world is restored to its proper place: is if you find death of the old and birth of the new at the cross of Christ. Many have come before you, many will come after you-but their is a heavenly Father who sees you right here, right now. The only thing he wants is to give you your truest self. Are you willing to give up the lie so you can embrace the truth?