14: Bride of the Cross
Posted: Thursday, May 29th, 2014Print
About The Bride Is Ready Series
Who is the Bride of Christ, and how does she make herself ready? These questions and more are explored in this piercing series as Martha digs deep into the blessings AND requirements of Christ's own Bride.
Ephesians 5:26, 27 NASB
…so that He might sanctify her,
having cleansed her by the washing
of water with the word,
that He might present to Himself the church
in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle
or any such thing but that she would be
holy and blameless.
The Bride of Christ must be a Bride of the Cross. There is no other path to the Wedding Feast. This Bride must be pure and the Cross is where she is stripped . . . to be robed.
Spiritual growth is through the Cross, and only through – not around – the Cross. Through death to self, not effort. Through death to self, not achievement. Through death, not survival. There is no fruit that is not born out of death (John 12:24).
You will only come to the Wedding Feast through the grave of your ego, your rights, your idols, and . . . your self-sufficiency. No pain-free Christianity was ever promised but an assurance of suffering for Christ, with Christ. In that suffering fire the old man is burned out and put in his begraved place so that the new being, the new creation emerges in Christlikeness by the replacement of His very nature over mine.
The “new man” is imprisoned by the old. And though that old man perished at the Cross, we still use him and live by him. The Cross liberates the new man from the inner tyranny of the old.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and
come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14:27 NASB (Mark 8:34)
The Cross is the prerequisite for discipleship, and the Bride is the ultimate disciple, those who follow of the Lamb wherever He goes (Rev. 14:4). And the Lamb goes inexorably where the Cross is. The eternal principle is the Cross. The Cross is the pivot of all history, the change of the world’s destiny, the solution of the entire dilemma of man. The Cross is imaged in nature, in the seasons of death and resurrection. All of life now must bow to the process of the Cross. Even nature. Only what has died lives. Anything that has not died, is dead.
How will the bride of Christ be made pure without spot or wrinkle? Through the washing of the Word, that insists on the Cross and calls her to join her Bridegroom there. For the Bride the cross is a constant experience. A living way, a daily event, not a theology. The washing of the Word touches all her wounds and is her restoration and her purification. And! The Cross is her intimate communion with her Bloody Bridegroom.
An individual, God-ordained cross, created to touch the dark places in each of us. Molded to your particular identity, for your individual destiny. Your personal cross will demand all that you love, including your very own existence. A Cross that claims the eternal right to your all, for the One who gave His All for your rebirth out of the grave of the world in which we all lay, hopeless and dead without Him.
The Bride is – must be – a Bride of the Cross . . .
Copyright © 2002 Martha Kilpatrick, The Bride Is Ready