Many things in this world consume our minds and we can lead lives that are very busy leaving little time for contemplation. But this is damaging for us. Contemplation and consideration are important, especially when it comes to the things of God. The hymn writer Isaac Watts (1674-1748) wrote these amazing words in his hymn When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,
“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.”
Have you taken time to survey the wondrous cross? The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is something we ought to contemplate often. It is something we should take out time to specially examine, think about and ponder. Though the thought of the cross of Christ is meaningless to those that aren’t saved, for God’s people it is most meaningful. The Apostle Paul wrote, “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18). This power is seen in our salvation and sanctification.
As we take time to contemplate the cross of Christ, there will be many things in our lives that this will address. One of them is our pride. We are a proud people (of course it is our pride that blinds us from seeing this!). Our pride isn’t always obvious and ostentatious, but it is present and prevalent in our lives. It is the root cause for us living lives that are in accordance to our own selfish desires. Every time we refuse to submit to God’s ways, we are treasuring ourselves more than the Lord. Pride is an ugly and consuming sin that God hates (Prov. 6:16-17; 16:5). Pride comes from our the heart (Mark 7:21-23) and leads to contention (Prov. 13:10; 28:25) and callousness (Dan. 5:20). The outcomes of this sin are dishonour (Prov. 11:2), debasement (Prov. 29:23) and finally destruction (Prov. 16:18; 18:12).
The greatest antidote to pride is the cross of Christ. Why? As we take time to contemplate the cross we should be humbled. Think about this. At the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ took your place, suffered for your sin, and bore the wrath of God on your behalf. He did this so that by means of faith in Him alone you can be forgiven and have peace with God (cf. Rom. 5:1). The sight of the cross reminds me of what a wretched sinner I am and what a wonderful Saviour I have. As Christians, we must contemplate the cross and learn humility.