Understanding the Cross, By and By

Understanding the Cross, By and By

March is the season of Lent, which for us means Lenten Luncheons. So mark your calendars for all five Tuesdays in March starting at noon in the Assembly Building where we will gather for food, fellowship and hear from a different inspirational speaker each week about “what the cross means to them.”

What difference does it make that Jesus died upon the cross? For most of us we know the threefold Sunday school answer: He paid the price for our sin, he won a victory over death, and he gives us eternal life.

But we want to hear from our Lenten Luncheon speakers what a difference the Cross of Christ has made in their daily lives. If we are honest, we want to know how Jesus’ life, death and resurrection changes us personally – our relationships, our work, our daily living.

As I listened to the choir one Sunday morning in mid-February sing an adaptation of the gospel hymn, We Will Understand It Better By and By*, it struck me that even though the work of Christ was completed on the cross (remember just before He died He said, “It is finished”), for us it is somehow ongoing. It is ongoing in the sense that it is for us a continual process of knowing Christ more deeply, of following Him more nearly, and loving Him more dearly. In other words, it’s a process of becoming more like Him through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Like the old hymn says:

Trials dark on every hand, and we cannot understand
All the way that God could lead us to that Promised Land;
But He guides us with His eye, and we’ll follow till we die
For we’ll understand it better by and by.
By and by, when the morning comes
When the saints of God are gathered home
We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome
For we’ll understand it better by and by.


We will understand it better by and by because Jesus died on the cross and rose again, so that we, too might die to sin and live for Him.

Rich Pollock lives in Topsail Beach with his wife Julia. Both are active affiliates of Emma Anderson Memorial Chapel. Rich happily fills in at the pulpit when a guest minister is unable to lead us in Sunday worship.

*We Will Understand It Better By and By was written in 1906 by Rev. Dr. Charles Albert Tindley (July 7, 1851 – July 26, 1933), an American Methodist minister and gospel music composer. Often referred to as “The Prince of Preachers”, he educated himself, became a minister and founded one of the largest Methodist congregations serving the African-American community on the East Coast of the United States. Read more about Rev. Dr. Tindley’s inspirational life, ultimately becoming pastor of a congregation where he had worked 15 years earlier as the janitor.