Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Crux of the Matter

I've always meant to post this pondering that I came upon. We all know the usual, everyday, modern use of the word crux, or crucial. "It's crucial that I get my paycheck today." "The crux of the matter is that I can support my family." A crucial matter is anything central, vital, important. So I looked up these words at just to confirm and articulate what seemed clear already, but what I think society as a whole forgets or disregards:

Audio Help /krʌks/ –noun, plural crux·es, cru·ces; Audio Help /ˈkrusiz/
1. a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point: The crux of the trial was his whereabouts at the time of the murder.
2. a cross.
3. something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty. [Origin: 1635–45; <>crucial] —Synonyms 1. essence, heart, core, gist. Unabridged (v 1.1)Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

cru·cial Audio Help /ˈkruʃəl/ Spelled Pronunciation[kroo-shuhl] –adjective 1. involving an extremely important decision or result; decisive; critical: a crucial experiment. 2. severe; trying. 3. of the form of a cross; cross-shaped. [Origin: 1700–10; <>cross + -al1]
—Related forms cru·ci·al·i·ty
Audio Help /ˌkruʃiˈælɪti, kruˈʃæl-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kroo-shee-al-i-tee, kroo-shal-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation, noun cru·cial·ly, adverb —Synonyms 1. momentous, vital, essential, significant. Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

In the big picture of life there is a crux, a crucial decision, a pivoting point around which all the rest of life hinges. And what would that be? Why is the word crux from cross, or crucifixion? Why, for that matter, is the very number of the year in which we live based on the one most famous crucifixion of all? You could say that the beginning of our conscious tracking of time focused on the very crux of our existence, the source of all hope for humanity, the fountain of all wisdom, the way to a relationship with God Himself.
The crux of all history was when Jesus offered up His life on the cross so that we who trust in Him might have salvation: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved" (John 16:31). Jesus said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5). I remember being told before I was a believer, using this passage, that apart from God, I could do nothing. I recognized that this verse was true in my own life. I knew that everything that I tried was resulting in futility: I couldn't fix my relationships, finances, various life problems, and the more I tried to do so the more they got messed up. Even practically and temporally speaking, my life exhibited the truth of this verse. It means much more than that, though! It really refers to how we cannot even start a relationship with God when we don't trust in Jesus Christ. All of our eternal life, all of our doings, everything only has the intended purpose when it is done through the strength of Jesus Christ. That's why He says to abide in Him.
At the same time that I was told that apart from God I could do nothing, I was also told that
"Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy" (John 10:10). I also believed this, because so much in my life was being destroyed. What a couple of strange verses to use to bring someone to Christ! It isn't my whole story, by any means, but those two verses made me realize why trusting in my own power was not working. Those verses along with many other clarifications that I was receiving at that time helped me to make the crucial decision to trust in Jesus Christ. Jesus also said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)
. He is the one and only path to a relationship with God the Father. My life has been changed completely even here on earth; that is nothing in comparison to the change in my eternal hope! Jesus' cross is the crux of human history; trusting in it is crucial for hope and peace, for relationship with God. Trusting in Jesus' salvation, in His ability and desire to provide you with forgiveness of all your sin, is the most crucial thing a person can do.

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