The Focus On Death
In many churches that I have attended, I could not understand why they were always talking about Jesus being on the Cross and the people were at the foot of Cross. For years, I was puzzled why there was such a focus on the death of Jesus rather than His resurrection. I found it rather odd for churches that were anti-Roman Catholic having a focus about Jesus being on the Cross. I would walk into the churches and mention the empty Cross and the church pastor or elder would tell me that the reason the cross was empty is they did not believe in idolatry. Yet when it came to partaking of the bread and the wine , the focus was on the death of Jesus. Even the preaching would focus on the death of Jesus.
The Broken Body
Another thing that puzzled me was these people would have communion and talk about Jesus’ body being broken for them on the Cross of Calvary. I found this very confusing, because in the Bible we find that the body of Jesus was not broken. This is what the Bible states:
Therefore the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with him; but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs. However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe. For these things happened, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “A bone of him will not be broken.” Again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they pierced (John 19:32-36 World English Bible)
Taking Up The Cross
A third matter that also puzzled me was people would often talk about being at the foot of the Cross instead of being on the Cross. The reason this puzzled me was Jesus said:
He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mark 8:34 World English Bible).
What It Means To Be Crucified
The implication is that if we were to follow Jesus, this also meant to be crucified with Him on the Cross and not just come to the foot of the Cross, look at Jesus crucified and walk away. For when we are baptized in water, we are supposedly baptized into the death of Jesus. This is what the Bible says:
Or don’t you know that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him through baptism to death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. (Romans 6:3-7 World English Bible)
Remaining At The Cross
Instead of hearing about people experiencing a new life and being happy every day, which is what is sung in the chorus of the hymn At The Cross, the opposite is found, where people are coming to the foot of the Cross and complaining about being still in their sins. The chorus for At The Cross is said to be good theology. This is how it goes:
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, And the burden of my heart rolled away,It was there by faith I received my sight, And now I am happy all the day!
This is a hymn that I have enjoyed singing. Only I would always change the words to “on the cross” rather than “at the cross”. This is because my theology is not one of being at the cross, rather it is one of being on the cross. And when I would think of the words of the chorus, I wondered why it was that the people sang the chorus without considering why it was not a reality in their lives.
The Joy Of Salvation
You see, at all these congregations I have attended that sang this hymn, what also puzzled me was the manner in which these were sung. Instead of joyous, contagious singing, that sounded like life was worth the living, the hymns were sung as if the people were at funeral and they were very sad. This what the Bible says concerning those who know the Lord God:
Those ransomed by Yahweh will return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy shall be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy. Sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 51:11 World English Bible)
Instead Of Error There Is Truth
The teaching and practices of these churches seem to be contrary to what the Bible actually teaches:
Instead of Jesus’ death being the focus of communion and the preaching, the Bible teaches that the resurrection should be the focus.
- Instead of Jesus’ body being broken on the Cross, the Bible teaches it was only pierced.
- Instead of being at the Cross, we are supposed to buried with Jesus, having been crucified with Him.
- Instead of being sinners who cannot help but sin, those who are buried with Christ cease from sinning.
- Instead of attending a funeral and singing a dirge, those who are saved attend a resurrection and sing with joy.
If you are attending a church that teaches contrary to what the Bible teaches, and are satisfied with its practices, then you obviously do not want to know the truth and be set free so that you might begin to experience the resurrection life.