I. Meditation on the Cross
Yeshua not only died on the cross, He also suffered during the time leading up to the cross. He was rejected and ridiculed (by those He loved). He was stripped and spit upon (like having been abused). He was beaten and cut (until He bled).
By His death on the cross, our sins are forgiven. By His suffering before the cross, we are given strength to endure and encouragement to be healed. “By His stripes (beatings, bruises, wounds), we are healed.” – Isaiah 53:4.
Part of our spiritual victory comes through identification with Yeshua’s suffering and crucifixion. I try to make it a daily habit to meditate on Yeshua and on the cross. Through that meditation, we can receive inner strength and physical healing.
By following through in your imagination the events of Yeshua’s suffering and crucifixion, there is a spiritual flow of life that comes from Him and enters into your inner being. “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life.” – Proverbs 4:23. During meditation on Yeshua and the cross, this issue of life flows from deep in His spirit to deep in your spirit. “Deep calls unto deep…” – Psalm 42:7.
I try to meditate on Yeshua and the cross first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and perhaps once during the day if I can grab a few moments to close my eyes and calm my thoughts. There is a connection in the spirit where your imagination touches Yeshua on the cross that releases the flow of His life.
II. Identification with Yeshua
This world is a place of suffering because of sin – either as the result of our sin or of the sin of others. Yet Yeshua volunteered to enter our pool of sin, unbelief, and suffering in order to rescue us out of it. He was not a “poor soul” victimized by the ruffians of this world. He was the victor, the rescuer, coming to save sinners and destroy the works of the devil.
He was not depressed or defeated. He had not a vestige of self-pity. He told the women who were weeping for Him, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves.” – Luke 23:28.
One of the dangers of the sufferings of this world is that they can push a person to self-pity and make him feel spiritually defeated. There is something about identifying with Yeshua in His sufferings on the cross that frees you from self-pity and defeat. It heals your pain. It’s not just that we identify with Him, but that He identified with us. He chose to unite Himself with us because of His great mercy. He was the strong identifying with the weak, the victorious uniting with the defeated, the Holy One becoming one with sinners.
When we realize that He chose to become one with us, we can become one with Him. He united with our humanity so that we could be united with His divinity. We identify with Him because He first identified with us. In that unity, we find courage and encouragement. Self-pity flees. Life and healing power flow into us. His victory replaces our defeat. His purity replaces our sin, His holiness our lusts, His cleanliness our guilt.
III. Confession of Faith
At each of the stages leading up to His death on the cross, Yeshua maintained a positive confession. ” Who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate.” – I Timothy 6:13. Before Pilate He said, “I am the King.” – (John 18:37). Before the priests and scribes, He said, “I am the Messiah.” – (Mark 14:62). We maintain a similar confession. In the face of ridicule from the secular world or rejection from the religious world, we confess, “Yeshua is my King and Messiah.”
On the road to the cross, Yeshua resisted every temptation to self-pity. Instead of “Woe is me,” His confession was one of authority (Luke 23:28). When almost all of His disciples ran away in fear, He spoke to those remaining of becoming a spiritual family (John 19:26). On the cross, when He felt completely abandoned, even by God, He quoted Scriptures. (“My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” was not a confession of unbelief, but a proclamation of Psalm 22 as a Messianic prophecy.) When He was crucified by those He came to serve, He fought off resentment, opened His mouth and spoke grace unto them, “Father, forgive them… (Luke 23:34).” At the moment of death, when all seemed lost, He proclaimed His total trust in God, “Into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” – (Luke 23:46).
With each progressive difficulty, at each stage of harder and harder circumstances, He held fast to His confession of faith and integrity. Speaking words of courage and hope in the midst of difficult circumstances is a focal point of the kingdom of God. We are to be faithful unto the death and hold fast our confession even to the end.
The inner decision to speak righteously in increasingly difficult circumstances builds character. It demands integrity. Faith confession in the midst of trial forges the kingdom of God in you – and releases it through you to others. Let us meditate on the cross, identify with Yeshua, and maintain our confession of faith.