“Take up your cross”

10 Jun

It struck me recently what a phenomenal command this is. For starters it was a command to follow Jesus even to death. Not an appealing destination.

But I’ve always read it in light of Christs death on the Cross. I’ve always felt it a command to lay down for Christ what He’s laid down for me. Fair enough. But. Jesus spoke this command to the crowd BEFORE he had gone to the Cross. Truly remarkable. And people followed?!

It’s still not an appealing destination. But Ive been encouraged today by Mark Driscol’s words in chapter 10 of “Death by Love.

At the Cross of Jesus, we learn that to be like Jesus means we pick up our cross and follow Him as he commanded (Matt 16:24). Practically, this means that we glorify God by allowing hardship, pain and loss to make us more like Jesus. The false teaching of American Christianity Lite i that comfort is a virtue and pain a vice. As Christians we neither run to suffering as the early ascetics did, nor run from it as modern Christian Americans do. Instead, we receive suffering when it comes as an opportunity for God to do something good in us and through us. We rejoice not in the pain, but rather in what it can accomplish for the Gospel.

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