The Spiritual Significance of The Cross

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Hi K____,
Thank you for your question.
You ask:

Those who have been listening to me for several years have heard me on many occasions, stop in the middle of a lesson and repeat the words, “The altar is the cross. The altar is the cross. The altar is the cross,” and then I go on with the lesson.
Nevertheless, I see that there is no particular e- mail in the FAQ’s that answers this question, so your question will fill that need.
It is easy to make any statement, it is another thing to demonstrate the Truth with the scriptures. But the spiritual significance of the cross is that the cross is the symbol of the place where we lay down our lives and our desires and follow in the footsteps of Christ. It was on the cross that Christ laid down His life for the sins of the world, and that is something that is easily demonstrated by the scriptures.
Christ is called “the Lamb of God”, and this is what we are told about the offering of that Lamb:

Lev 4:32 And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish.
Lev 4:33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering.
Lev 4:34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar:
Lev 4:35 And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

All the sacrifices were to be made only at “the altar” as a type and shadow of the coming offering of our Lord and Savior as the offering for the sins of this world. “He shall lay his hands upon the head of the sin offering” demonstrates that the offerer identifies with the death of that Lamb, and he acknowledges that it is his own sins that require the death of our Lord for our sins.
But Christ did not lay down His life down on the ‘altar’ of the cross for the sins of the world as a substitute for our lives and to keep us from having to die. Rather His sacrifice of His life continues within us, so we, too, are “buried together with Him into the baptism of His death”.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

If we are “buried with Him by baptism in death” it follows that we are also “crucified with Christ” on His cross.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

So much for the false doctrine of Christ’s “substitutionary death”. Nothing has been more effective in robbing Christians of their rewards than that false spirit, that false doctrine.
We are “crucified with [ Christ]” so that we too, can become the “Saviors” of this world.

Oba 1:21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

The way that Christ’s Father ordained this to be accomplished was for Christ to come in a body of flesh and blood and live his days laying down His life for the sins of the world, which are also in us, then He is having Christ to send us to do exactly what His Father sent Him to do:

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

So you and I are sent be “crucified with Christ”, to die on the cross just as Christ died on His cross. Christ Himself was spiritually “on the cross” spiritually “dying daily” long before He was on it physically. That is what He is telling us when he told His disciples to “take up your cross and follow me” [ as I am carrying my own cross daily].

Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

So the definition of “losing his life” is to “deny himself”, and be willing to “die daily”, being “crucified with [ Christ]” daily, and living only by the faith and power of Christ living His own selfless life of “taking up his cross” daily, for the service of His Father and the love of His brothers. All within us.

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

How do we do this? The next verse:

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The closer our minds are “conformed to… the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God”, the further we will find ourselves from “this world”.

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men [ as a living sacrifice] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

To answer your question directly, the spiritual significance of the cross is to “deny [ our] selves”, and in doing that “take up our cross and follow Christ” who has set us that example. The cross is the reality of what the altar symbolized, where we too, lay down our lives in service to our Lord and in service to “the church which is His body.” Here is just how similar to Christ’s experience our experience is intended to be:

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of [ the] Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

There is one thing we know for certain about Christ:

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Heb 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

There are few Christians who even believe that there is anything “behind of the afflictions of the Christ”, and there are few Christians who know what this next verse here in Hebrew 13 means:

Heb 13:10 We have an altar [ the cross], whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

“They that serve the tabernacle” are those in Babylon, out of whom we must all come (Rev 18:4). When we “eat” at the altar of Christ, we deny ourselves, are crucified with Christ and die daily with Him to all the things of this world and its traditions which have ensnared all of mankind.

Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Another way of explaining the spiritual significance of the cross is to “follow in His steps”, and live our lives as Christ lived His life.

1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps

When we “follow His steps… come out of Babylon…” and acknowledge that “they which serve the tabernacle have no right to eat… at [ our] altar [ meaning they cannot take up our cross]”, this is the scripturally guaranteed fruit of “following His steps”:

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

I hope this helps you to see what is the spiritual significance of the cross. It really is the symbol of the rejection of this world of the Christ within us.
Your brother in that Christ who is being crucified to this very day,


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