“Supplementing The Cross”

Sup⋅ple⋅ment – noun: Something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole. – Verb (used with object) – To complete, add to, or extend by a supplement. To form a supplement or addition to. To supply (a deficiency).

It has becoming increasingly evident to me how little stock we truly put in what Christ did on the cross for us. We may say with our words, “the cross was enough; what Jesus did was enough”. However, our actions are a daily picture of broken humanity that insists on supplementing the cross. It is as if we say,

“Jesus, thank you for this act of sacrifice on the cross you have suffered through to completely cover my sins, and make me clean…wait, did I say completely? What I meant was thank for offering yourself as PART of the sacrifice. I appreciate that, and will now do my part to make up for where your sacrifice on the cross was not enough.”

At that moment we take out our hammer, tiny finishing nails, and pieces of paper. We begin writing little deeds, and good works on those pieces of paper. We frantically tap the little nails through the paper, and into the wood of the cross directly above, below, and next to the broken, & bloody parts of our Savior’s body. With each good deed we add to the cross our pursuits of making up for where Christ’s sacrifice was lacking. With each one we spit on our King’s body. In essence, we are doing nothing less than driving those little finishing nails straight into His flesh. I wonder if those little nails hurt worse than the huge spikes that attached Him to the cross…?

We have this fundamental misunderstanding of the cross, and Christ’s purpose in dying on it for us. We are SO quick, in our broken human-ness to try and perform to earn God’s approval. We are taking the very thing that sets us apart as followers of Christ and trading it in for a life of vain pursuits. We continue to fall victim to a trap that tricks us into thinking Christ desires our works, and good deeds to gain His approval. We attempt to “pay God back” for what He did, and earn our salvation by our dead works. Father, forgive us.

We mustn’t perform to earn God’s approval. We obey Him because we already have His approval. We gained that approval through believing that what He did on the cross was ENOUGH; it needs no supplement.

Will you join me in repenting for attempting to supplement the cross…?

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10 thoughts on ““Supplementing The Cross”

  1. This is SO true. Thank you for writing this – I really needed to read this today. I am constantly guilty of trying to gain God’s approval, and I spend way more time thinking of ways to make God happy, instead of just praising Him for what He has already done. Jesus has already done EVERYTHING and I so often forget that.

    • Good question Scott. Unfortunately, I was raised in such a way that has tainted my view on the power of this word. Growing up it was always explained to me as a 180 degree turning and running away from sin. However, the question in my mind was always how that particular sin kept finding itself in front of me after I had turned from it!? (I quickly found out that I had only been “turning” from the sin either for a short period of time, or only “turning from the sin” physically with my body. I wasn’t turning from it in my heart. I wasn’t being BROKEN enough to be made aware of TRUTH, and allow that truth to set me free. So, I suppose repent is now more of a TRUST & TRUTH issue. When I repent I’m saying that I know what i’m doing does not match up with the truth of the Gospel, and God’s will/plan for His kingdom. The repenting will hopefully be a one-time per issue happening…In that repentance is a deep trust in what God has in store that I know is so much “better” than that particular sin. That’s what I got off the top of my head. Thanks for the thought provoking question. Take care!

  2. I loved this post, and then got down to the very last line, and then my heart skipped a beat…

    I find that I am very quick to point out how others are guilty of adding to the completed work of Christ on the cross, but so easily forget that I have done the same thing for most of my own life….

    I want others to repent, without really admitting that I’ve ever needed to… I have often unwittingly made myself out to be the victim of a system imposed upon me, rather than the willing partcipant in nailing all those little extra things to the cross… The truth is, I wanted to, because it was more comfortable than being naked before God, and just letting him wash and clothe me.

    Thank for this, and for the last line especially…

  3. Part of the problem, I think, doesn’t lie with the gospel and how it is presented. The problem lies with what we teach people after they become saved. We teach them what music they need to listen to and that they shouldn’t watch rated R movies (unless it is the Passion of the Christ) and it becomes no longer authentic Christianity but moralism that is dictated by Philippians 4:8 (which in context is about ministry). Yes, we are called to be separate from the world, but does that mean that we need to throw away all of our kitchen untensils because they are not “Christian” utensils? Christ came into culture to redeem culture, eat with the prostitues and sinners and call them to repent of sin. We use things of the culture all the time (i.e. ipods, computers, record players). This is not to say that I abandon a Christian worldview altogether, but I do my best to observe media with a Biblical worldview filter.

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