DEAR JESUS, MY LORD… I DIE DAILY
“And He said to them all, If you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, take up your cross every day, and follow me.”
– Luke 9:23
Many People have taken to the idiom by referring trials, trouble or a burden they have to bear in their lives as “cross.” A strained relationship, a thankless job, a physical illness. With self-pitying pride, they say, “That’s my cross I have to carry.”
But this is certainly not Jesus view when He made the statement:“Take up your cross and follow Me.”Remember, Jesus made this statement before He was nailed to the cross, bearing the burden of the whole world and if you back up a little to verse 21 in that Luke chapter 9, Jesus had just finished predicting his death on the cross when He made the statement. So it is safe to say it was a metaphor for the cross He was going to carry for you and I.
Let me explain the metaphor…
Before Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross and the widespread of Christianity, no one was thinking of the cross as symbolic of salvation, it was – at that period – a capital punishment for criminals by the most painful and humiliating means human beings could develop. Romans forced convicted criminals to carry their own crosses to the place of crucifixion, bearing a cross meant carrying their own execution device while facing ridicule along the way to death.
Two thousand years later, Christians view the cross as a cherished symbol of atonement, forgiveness, grace, and love. Therefore, Jesus’“Take up your cross and follow Me”was futuristic. It was directly referring to the Live He will offer after His Death and resurrection. A life that can only be attained if one dies to self. So Jesus was not talking about the cross the Romans forced on criminals, He wasn’t talking about death. He was talking about that “light yoke”that His resurrection has made available to us, He was talking about life.
It is worthy to note that after each time Jesus commanded cross bearing, it was recorded that He followed up with“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25).
Jesus said, can a seed grow unless it dies… a stagnant water, they say, is a stinking water… so to grow and grow right… like Paul, we need to say, “I die daily”
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