The instrument of Roman torture, the cross, is mentioned twenty eight times in the Bible. What is it about the cross that draws us toward it? Had it not been for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the cross would undoubtedly have been relegated to a few sentences in some ancient history books.
The apostle Paul reminds us, "I have been crucified with Christ." We know Paul wasn't actually crucified with Christ, so what does he mean? I believe Paul, along with Christ, is bringing out a very interesting point. We must carry our cross. The words of the hymn express it so well "There's a cross for everyone to bear." Unless, of course, we are unwilling to take it up.
Oswald Chambers asks, "Are we willing to surrender our grasp on all that we possess, our desires, and everything else in our lives? Are we ready to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ? Make a determination to go on through the crisis surrendering all that you have and all that you are to Him. And God will then equip you to do all that He requires of you."
Here are seven of the scriptures that emphasize the importance of the cross of Christ.
1. IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME.
2. WHOSOEVER DOTH NOT BEAR HIS CROSS, AND COME AFTER ME, CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.
3. AND HE THAT TAKETH NOT HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOWETH AFTER ME, IS NOT WORTHY OF ME.
4. AND HE BEARING HIS CROSS WENT FORTH...
5. BUT GOD FORBID THAT I SHOULD GLORY, SAVE IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
6. FOR THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS IS TO THEM THAT PERISH FOOLISHNESS; BUT UNTO US WHICH ARE SAVED IT IS THE POWER OF GOD.
7. WHO FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS DESPISING THE SHAME.
Chambers reminds us, “Once you grow and develop the right condition inwardly, the words which Jesus spoke become so clear that you are amazed that you did not grasp them before. Our Lord doesn’t hide these things from us, but we are not prepared to receive them until we are in the right condition in our spiritual life. Pull yourself up, take some time alone with God, and make this important decision saying, ‘Lord, identify me with your death until I know that sin is dead in me.’ Make the proper decision that sin in you must be put to death.”
Ref. Matt. 10:38, 16:24, Luke 14:27, John 19:17, Gal. 6:14, 1 Cor. 1:18, Heb. 12:2. The Holy Bible
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