By Gerald Melton
Sycamore Baptist Church
What does the cross mean to you? For some, it is a figure used for decoration. It may hang on a chain around the neck of someone or a tie tack to hold a tie down. It is on the top of church steeples or in groups of three on a road side.
For some, it has no meaning. To others, it has great significance.
For the Christian, it is the symbol of the sacrifice Jesus made, the giving of His life so that we could have eternal life. The cross was the focus of Jesus’ life and His purpose.
For most of us, the cross brings bad thoughts of the suffering of Jesus as He hung upon it as He died. It makes us sad to read what he endured on the cross.
We also realize that without His death on the cross, our sins could not have been forgiven and life would be hopeless. For that reason, the cross can be a symbol of hope for us. We all have our crosses to carry as we travel through life (Matthew 16:24, 25).
In our scripture, the word “cross” is never mentioned, but it is implied in the phrase, “We are going up to Jerusalem.” For the disciples, going to Jerusalem held the prospect of the glorious triumph of their Messiah and they found comfort in this.
Jesus knew that it would be a place of rejection and death. In the Christian life, the goal in the beginning remains our goal until our life on Earth has ended. We start our new lives with Christ as our focus and He is to remain our focus and our goal.
As Paul states it in Ephesians 4:13, “Until we all come … to the measure of the fullness of Christ.”
The goal of the Christian is to do God’s will, not what our idea of a Christian life may be. We may be doing what we feel is useful to God but it may not be God’s will for our lives. Satisfaction is only found in doing God’s will!
Matthew 10:24 “A Disciple is not above his teacher not a servant above his master.” If we are disciples and servants of Jesus than we too must have a cross to carry.
There is some service or calling that we have as we follow Him through our lives if we are to serve Him. That is our direction to find and our work to do. It may not be easy to do but we must do our best.
We must follow the example of our Teacher and stay on course regardless of the cost. We will show the love of Jesus as we go and touch people as Jesus did. It may seem an uphill climb all the way, but people will be blessed as we travel to our Jerusalem. That will be our encouragement to continue.
As we follow our crosses, our callings, we do not worry about our crucifixion. His blood was shed, His life was given for us, and because of that we should not dread to carry our crosses in service to the Lord. There will not be a crucifixion for us. There will only be glory. Let us encourage one another as we carry our crosses in service to Jesus.
Sin is something I am born with and cannot do anything about, but God does something about sin through redemption. It is through the cross of Christ that God redeemed the entire human race from the possibility of eternal condemnation because of sin.
John 3:19 tells us, “This is condemnation, that the light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light.” The price of sin has been paid. All we need to do is accept the gift and begin following God’s will.