Ancient Words: Faces of the Cross, Our Cross
Faces of the Cross are displayed in various forms which all depict Christ’s love for us but what about the personal form of—- “Our Cross?” Jesus has spoken about the personal side of the cross—-how we have one as well to own and to bear: “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Mat 10:38)”….”Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me (Mat 16:24)”…”Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23)”…”And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27)”.
Mark 10. 17-21 gives another teaching about cross-bearing as Jesus speaks to a rich young ruler: And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.” And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me (KJV-BRG).”
Salvation and eternal life are expressed in terms of faith, repentance, confession, baptism and other actions throughout the New Testament. One often overlooked, however, is the action of cross-bearing. What does “deny yourself and take up your cross daily—and follow me” exactly mean. The answer, I believe, is to focus back on the faces of Christ’s cross and there-in the answer can be seen. Our series has found “faces of the cross” at Calvary displayed such things as love, mercy, grace, suffering, forgiveness, righteousness, peace, death and life. These faces of God and his Son, were on full display 2,000 years ago and through the power of the cross are still on display today. They are on display as Christians, followers of Jesus, disciples of our Lord, live out life by carrying that same cross.
Bearing our own cross and following the Savior? “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies; fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Php. 2:1-8).” —-“It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.”
Scott and Jane Johnson minister with East Faulknew Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• • •
So tomorrow is Mother’s Day! It’s kind of interesting to me that we set aside one day a year for the person that sets aside everything for everybody else 365 days a year! She sacrifices and loves unconditionally without expectations.
This creature that we call mom has the ability to see through walls, and also remarkably has eyes located in the back of her head as well. She created the art of multi-tasking. She invented the ability to love without being appreciated. She is kind, loving and tender yet she is also the strongest and fiercest specimen of the human species. Unfortunately, many times she also has to wear the name, “dad.’
Her selflessness and “under the radar, it’s not about me” attitude is such an example of humility and grace. She doesn’t always have biological children of her own either. She can be mom to countless children who are desperate for love and affection.
I am so grateful to God that He has blessed me with one of these amazing creatures! In fact He saw fit to not only bless me with the greatest mother in the world but He doubled my blessing by giving me my mother in law.
When I think of these women this scripture comes to mind:
“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:1-4
Happy Mother’s Day, everyday moms!
Peace and Blessings,
Captain Jason Perdieu is corps officer of the Salvation Army of El Dorado.