Branded by the Cross

NBBI President, Matthew Little

The Speakers’ Quote Book tells of a train that plunged into a river over an opened draw bridge and eighteen people died. The bridge engineer said he put up the red flag, warning the train in sufficient time to stop. The train engineer said the flag was white, and therefore he felt the bridge was there and it was safe to cross. The flag was examined and it was red, but it had faded. Thus at a distance it appeared white.

Could it be that our faded testimony could misdirect others and lead them to sin, or worse yet, to an eternity without Christ? In John 20, Jesus had appeared to His disciples and had enacted His legacy of peace. Unfortunately, Thomas was not there. Jesus would soon appear to Thomas as well but, in the meantime, Thomas reacted to the news of Jesus’ appearance with doubt. The disciples said, “We have seen the Lord” but Thomas would not be so easily convinced.

The word for “print”, used in John 20:25, is the same word translated “ensamples” in I Thessalonians 1:7. Thomas said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails…I will not believe.”(John 20:25b) I Thessalonians 1:7 says, “…ye were ensamples (prints) to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.” What the “prints” were to Thomas, the Thessalonian Christians had been to the world.

They were branded by the cross. They carried on their lives the marks of Calvary. Your doctrine may be firm and your character may be impeccable but if you are not carrying the marks of the cross, it is all for naught. If you say you are a Christ follower then people need to see that you have been branded by the cross. Your life is screaming at people so loudly that they cannot hear what you say. What is the story of your life telling? Is there anything in your life that reminds people that Jesus died and rose again?

Post by: Matthew Little, NBBI President

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