The cross and laying down our lives to carry our cross to follow Jesus Christ, do not seem like positive topics that bring joy. However, the cross of Jesus Christ shows the depth of our sins and the depth of our Father’s love. For God so loved the world that He gave His Son in our place for our sins.
Without the cross, without the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins, without His resurrection, without His conquering sin and death, making payment for our sins, there is no saving grace, no good works good enough without the cross of Jesus. The cross is the bridge, the way to cross-over to eternal life.
Without the cross there wouldn’t have been a resurrection. Crucifixion was the worst way to die, yet because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, we are offered God’s best, grace-filled freedom. The power of Christ resurrects anything and anyone, for nothing is impossible for God. The power of Christ’s resurrection, revives our lost lives, our lost hope, and our lost joy.
Carrying our cross isn’t a burden, it is the symbol of freedom. The cross we carry shows we identify with the cross of Christ where Jesus took all our sins and nailed them to His cross so that we could be free and have access to our loving Heavenly Father.
Carrying our cross symbolizes we have laid down our life to follow and serve the One who went to the cross, died, and rose again to give us eternal life.
Jesus said, “Take up your cross and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Taking up your cross to follow Jesus is an invitation to lay down your life to pick up His resurrected, eternal life.
Because of the cross, your sins are forgiven. Because of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, those who believe in Him, turn to Him, give their lives to Him, are delivered from the power of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the one whose sins have been forgiven (Psalm 32:1-2).
Pick up your cross and follow is not an invitation for a life of drudgery, it is an invitation to new, never-ending, amazing joy-filled life through the power, might, glory, peace, hope, encouragement, courage, comfort, compassion, kindness, and unfailing love of Jesus Christ.
Love held Jesus on the cross. Love resurrected Jesus from the grave. Love offers forgiveness, hope, and eternal life. Because of the cross, your life is given mercy and grace and joyfully resurrected.
“Jesus died on the cross for you, and the Scripture says that you can never be the same once you have been to the Cross: ‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV).’” ~ Billy Graham
Cross to eternal joy by following The One who went to the cross for you.
Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice. Thank You for going to the cross for my sins. Thank You that because You went to the cross, I am free to accept Your grace and mercy so that I can cross to eternal joy with You!
“We owe all to Jesus crucified. What is your life, my brethren, but the cross? Whence comes the bread of your soul but from the cross? What is your joy but the cross? What is your delight, what is your heaven, but the Blessed One, once crucified for you, whoever lives to make intercession for you?” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon[i]
God’s Timeless Truth
“Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did” (Romans 6:6-11, MSG).
[i] Charles H. Spurgeon, Pictures from Pilgrim’s Progress (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim, 1992), 87-89
Photo by Lisa Buffaloe