My Cross, His Cross – Week of July 13, 2020

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Matthew 10:38-39

“It’s a cross I have to bear” is a statement that you might sometimes hear or say. When said, the person is likely referencing something that’s a struggle or challenge in their life. Sometimes it can even be said in jest. But what does it really mean to “take up their cross and follow me?”

As I sit at my desk reading this passage, I’m stopped at the first sentence. What does it mean to take up my cross and follow Christ? Have I done that? Am I doing that? How do I do that? I get an immediate sense of failure. My failure is founded in my view of what this passage is saying. When I focus on my taking up my cross, I am the center of the action. If left up to me, I truly am not worthy of Christ, just as the passage says.

When we talk about bearing a cross for Christ, it’s hardly a reference to the often mundane earthly challenges that we have. Bearing our cross is talking about those struggles we have because of our faith. It may be the challenges brought by a friend who tries to push you to a decision you know is not God pleasing. Bearing a cross may be the views you have on current issues that don’t align with what may seem to be popular.

But what is our goal? The passage puts it so beautifully: “whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Sometimes it’s easy to focus on what we may give up because of our faith. Some of our decisions may look like a list of things we “can’t do”. However, when we compare that to the joy and contentment we have knowing that we have peace with God, those things lose their importance. Sin and its affects are everywhere. Disease, crime, acts of disobedience and hate, strained relationships, a lack of trust, and on and on. What do we do? How do we cope? We look to God and his promises. Those things we seem to give up are so temporary. What we have in Christ is so much more. Life in heaven without all those effects of sin is ours because of Jesus. It’s hard to imagine how beautiful, how perfect heaven will be. But even more, it’s hard to imagine what it will be like to be standing there with Jesus forever. Forever! Take the world and all its trappings. You and I have Jesus for eternity. That cross we bear is nothing compared to the cross that he bore because his love for you wanted you with him each day of eternity in heaven.

Take the world but give me Jesus! In his cross my trust shall be
Till with clearer, brighter vision face to face my Lord I see.
Oh, the height and depth of mercy;
Oh, the length and breadth of love!
Oh, the fullness of redemption,
Pledge of endless life above! Amen
Christian Worship 355:3

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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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