If you’ve been a Christian very long – more than likely you have heard or read the scripture in Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23 where Jesus spoke to His disciples (and to us) about “taking up your cross and following Me”. The question now IS… . Do you really know what that means?….. Because you do have to know AND understand what Jesus meant in that passage.. before you can answer the very important question for yourself….“What is MY Cross?”
Many Christians WANT to know the answer to that, but usually wind up with the assertion that their cross is any number of “hard things” that seem to follow their lives….
It will probably simplify getting the answer to that question – if I first tell you what your cross is not….Your cross is NOT ANYTHING that Jesus redeemed you from!
Redeemed means…… (In Galatians 3:13 & 4:5; I Peter 1:18; Revelation 5:9)….To buy back – paying the price required for all that can be bought… Here’s what some important scriptures tell us about our redemption through Jesus Christ:
“Christ redeemed us from the curse – being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). So, what is the curse?….What is it that Jesus redeemed us from?
In Deuteronomy 30:19,20, God tells us that “life and death/blessing and cursing are set before us… . then He urges us to “CHOOSE LIFE!”:….He is saying “Follow My way – love and obey Me – for real life and blessing is in Me…… You can choose either one, but I urge you to choose life/choose Me!”
In the Garden man had chosen to live apart from God – and God honored that choice……. but God loved us and so He came after man (all men) to give us individually the opportunity to choose again. God had a plan to redeem us from man’s original choice to live apart from Him …..So He sent His Son – Jesus Christ the Anointed One – to redeem us… that is to buy us back again!. …….Even so He still gives each one of us the same choice to make….. Choose Me /My plan – or choose to live apart……. You can choose either, but I love you, He says – so choose Me – choose LIFE!
Psalm 103::1-4 names the benefits/blessings that come from choosing God’s way… He redeemed us from the curse – the consequences that sin in us or around us brings….. Indeed, He redeemed us from the curse of sickness, disease, poverty, lack, etc….And our life as a Christian then.. is a walk by faith in the things which He has spoken to us.…
Okay, but if we are redeemed from the curse – why then do we see so much sickness, poverty, lack and other such things among Christians that God’s Word clearly says that He redeemed us from?……Why? because EVERYTHING – Everything!….. that we receive from God – we receive by faith (II Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:6…) Any number of scriptures verify that fact…..Therefore, as the Apostle Paul once said… we need to check ourselves “whether we are in the faith.”
But as humans we are used to thinking and walking by sight – our sense knowledge of seeing, hearing, feeling – so that we generally find it difficult to believe that God wants us to have something that we cannot see, hear, feel, understand etc. with our natural man’s senses….. Thus we have a hard time actually believing the Word of God….so that we often default to either ignore, or to reason away many of the promises God has given us in His Word….. because we cannot reconcile ourselves to believe what we do not see or feel “currently” with at least one of our 5 natural senses! We are thus trying to walk by sight – instead of by faith in what God’s Word has said.
Your cross and my cross is not some sickness…. God through Jesus redeemed you from that…. and He is not a man that He could lie or alter the words that He has spoken to us….Neither will He ever violate His written word in the things which He directs you to do to follow Him/His plan for you…..
.And in line with that, He is not going to buy us out of something (redeem us)… then turn around and put that same thing upon us as a cross to bear!…. No!…. But, indeed, your cross and my cross is to follow Him, go the direction He tells you to go, make the changes in your dreams and desires that He asks of you …… Does that sound dull or boring or too hard? Indeed, it may sound to be so, but ask anyone who truly knows and follows Him… and they will tell you without a second thought.. that the life that God offers us here is far better, far more rewarding than any life without Him can ever bring….
Your cross is whatever it costs you to follow Him/His plan for your life!