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An Easter Meditation on Pride - The Thief At The Cross

In counseling from Biblical truth, a huge issue is PRIDE. Pride is a focus on self, whether you have the arrogance of Nebuchadnezzar or are the clinically depressed person who does not stop thinking about how worthless they are. Both these folks are equally prideful because their focus is on themselves and not on the One True Living God. This is the evil one's only strategy - to keep us focused on the horizontal (ourselves and our circumstances) instead of the vertical (the Person, Power and Glory of God).

In the Men's Bible study that I attend on Tuesday mornings, we were looking at Romans 10 this morning and the issue of self-righteousness vs. Christ being the full completion of the Law. In that examination John Calvin was quoted as saying that "the thief on the cross next to Jesus was the world's ultimate theologian" (Luke 23: 40-43). This is powerfully and amazingly true. He understood his powerlessness in that moment. He was nailed to the cross, just as Jesus was. He understood he was a lost sinner, unlike his companion on the other side of Christ. He knew that there was no work he could perform to get to heaven. He could not walk anywhere to do a good work. He could not even put his hands together in prayer. All he could do is die. He could DO nothing but believe in the Messiah who hung next to him as his only hope for salvation and righteousness. He understood that it is only by grace, through faith.... that Jesus Christ is the complete fulfillment of the Law that we cannot keep, and that he was taking the penalty that he, that we, deserve.

I had a client recently who said "I keep trying to crucify myself but I can't do it. I can nail my feet, and then one hand, but I can never finish the job". This is pride - the attempt to do what only Christ can do. He was crucified for us - we cannot do it ourselves, and we should stop trying to do what only He can do for us. Receive the gift of grace and give up the notion of self-righteousness.

We are all the thief on the cross. We have no righteousness whatsoever in ourselves. All we can do is to accept Christ's righteousness by faith, this incredible gift of grace, and to die to ourselves. Seeing the truth of what the thief on the cross understood so clearly, we are cured of pride. It is not about us; what we do, what we do not do. It is all about the risen Christ and what HE did for us.

Praise His perfect name forever, and Happy Easter!

The Center for Christian Counseling
(469) 635-2200
www.c3christiancounseling.com

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Lifeline Christian Counseling Center
1979 E. Garfield Ave.
Salt Lake City, UT 84108

Phone: (801) 455-6006
Fax: (801) 606-2845


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