“He who is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30), “He bore the cross himself, till he sunk under it” (Matthew 27:32), “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
σταυρός, staurós, “a cross,” No word in human language has become more universally known than this word and that because all of the history of the world since the death of Christ has been measured by the distance which separates events from it. The cross of Christ - For maintaining Christian faith in a crucified Saviour is alone sufficient for justification. As we venerably mediate the audacious sacrificial death of our Lord Jesus Christ for our deliverance from tarnished sin to procure to our father, let’s contemplate what could be the incredible result if carry our cross with Jesus.
SPLENDOUR OF SELF-SACRIFICE IN JESUS
The Cross of Jesus was PAIN and SUFFERING: The Cross of Jesus was HUMILITY (John 13:3, 4). The Cross of Jesus was EMPTY STOMACH, when He was nailed to the cross nothing further was done and he was left to die from starvation. The Cross of Jesus was REJECTION and HUMILIATION, (Galatians 3:13; Luke 9: 22). The Cross of Jesus was TEASE, He was belted with insults, called: a Samaritan, demon possessed (John 7:20; 8:48, 52), mental (John10:20), illegitimate man (Mark 6:3), and even His own family members mocked and rejected Him (John7:3-5), The Cross of Jesus was SCANDALIZED REPUTATION (John7:12). Jesus loved the praise of God, not of men (John12:43). Jesus did not entrust himself to men, because he knew all men (John2:24, 25) in whom did you entrust yourself? Jesus said, you justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Lu 16:15) who praises you? Whom do you justify and esteem? What is your cross? How do you bear it daily? The Cross of Jesus was THREAT (John7:1). The Cross of Jesus was DESERTION (John 6:66). The Cross of Jesus was to be an ORDINARY MAN (John 6:15) the devil's path to kingship was much easier than the road to the cross that Jesus saw before him. God's way for Jesus to become a king was more difficult. There is a powerful synchronicity in the scriptures for this day. Will you choose the kingship or the cross?
CARVING THE CROSS OUT OF CHRISTIANITY
The cross is central to Christianity. It is the crux of Christianity. The Cross has become an ICON for Christianity... It’s Our Trademark if you will… churches uses the polished, shining cross in pendant necklaces, chairs, and gorgeous lighting cross on the roofs, so cross is identified with church goers. Many lines of evidence might be adduced to demonstrate this central position of the cross to the Christian faith. The cross of churches become “Rampant individualism” is a nicer way of describing the churches perspective then what Paul wrote regarding the outlook churches would have in the lost days. Of this time, Paul wrote that “men will be lovers of themselves…(2 Timothy 3:2)” Rather than focusing on what is best for our believers and best for churches, focusing on their own perceived needs and wants. These are enemies of the cross of Christ. Our churches are on the verge of degradation of spirituality and common values. It’s time to take control of our churches theological diet before entertainment media, sophistication of wealth, honour for affluent, spiritually and morally starve our believers on an immoral and amoral smorgasbord. How spontaneous cross is carved from your life, Church and organization?
The Cross-less Christian Church and its Cross-less Christians are in the midst of an internal examination and a culture-wide consideration of who belongs, who is good and evil, what we hold as the responsibilities of faith. We are asking whether we will find the answers to our questions by looking backward or looking forward. We are living in an era when belief is often engaged as a consumer issue: what do we want to make us comfortable? We are living in an era of fear. We are living in a time when we are alienated from cross, from God, from one another, from ourselves. And we are living all of this in a hurry with our cell phones and computers and deadlines. The cross is essentially a confrontation with our sinful lifestyle of the fragility of human flesh; we ought to have spiritual revival and renewal to carve cross out of Christianity. What is your cross? Where is your cross? Who is beside you to carry your cross?
PERSEVERE WITH YOUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS
Carrying your own cross in journey with Jesus should become familiar with God’s commandments-including both their physical and spiritual dimensions. A paraphrase of Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us: “Do you see what this means-all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running-and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins, keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in”. As we study how he did it. Because he never lost sight or where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God” bearing us in His redeeming righteous valiant hand with prayer for us to finish the race.
Carrying your cross with Jesus At times, Christians shall face grueling trials. Paul warned his fellow minister Timothy that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12)”. Persecution can take many forms, including open hostility, economic hardship, verbal beatings or humiliations for trying to follow God’s laws. Much sacrifice is required. Believers shall be imprisoned; will have even to lose their lives. The suffering being experienced by so many today is reversible. Pastors and our churches do not have to be victims. Why not be given believers what they need and lack-a positive, encouraging church where they are taught God’s standards. You cannot vanquish the world with your cross without Jesus being by you “For if they do these (cross) things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”(Lu 23:31)... Jesus teaches us that we Must Become Acquainted with the Instrument of His death for us to FIND OUR OWN LIFE! It’s Jesus who appreciates you for stamping in His footprints.
NEVER GIVE UP YOUR CROSS
Carrying your Cross with Jesus in its depth of inspiration and its sweep of influence; and to be godly is to look at life’s events through a keyhole. “Footprints of Jesus are a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; afraid to go;” but fill your daily lives with spiritual trivia, remember the promise, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be:” and so you boldly ventures”. The Cross was never meant to: Be Pretty & Symbolize Hurt... Pain... Once you are Associated with the Cross – the End was Clear – DEATH! You’ve accepted your cross, you’ve welcomed to carry it with all your heart, you believed that the difficulties that loom in Calvary is nothing compared to the glory that awaits you. We should be different because of the cross. We should be a changed people. A transformation ought to occur. When we understand what Jesus went through for us, we should be appreciative and attempt to live a selfless style of life in the world. Carry your cross with Jesus; it’s arduous sans Him even to attempt.
Abel Amirtharaj (www.fea.org.in)