Happy Good Friday faithful E-News readers. Followers of Jesus around the globe will mark this day in remembrance of Jesus’ work on the cross.
Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.John 19:16-18
On this day we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. He alone carried the cross we could not carry. He alone bore the sins of the world. He alone paid the price. He alone embraced the weight that we could not bear and at the end, proclaimed that His work was done. It is finished.
May we never forget the way of the cross of Jesus. May we never lose the significance, importance and centrality of what happened on Golgotha so many years ago. It is essential to our faith.
We dare not forget that following Jesus is profoundly shaped by the cross. Without the cross of Jesus, we’re tempted to try to earn our way into God’s favor and love. Without the cross of Jesus, we’re deceived into thinking that this Christian life is about our works rather than trusting in the finished work of Jesus demonstrated so vividly on the cross. It’s fitting that we remember the way of the cross of Jesus today.
The life of discipleship is shaped by the cross. We cannot bear the cross of Christ, but disciples of Jesus must carry a cross. Jesus made this clear.
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”Mark 8:34-35
On this day, as we remember the way of the cross of Jesus Christ, we would do well to remember that His call to discipleship requires that we bear a cross as well. If you want to be a disciple of Jesus, you must deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Jesus. This is the life of surrender. This is the life of obedience. This is the life of discipleship.
We dare not forget that the way of discipleship is shaped by the way of the cross. Without the way of the cross, our faith is reduced to self-improvement techniques and formulas. Without the way of the cross, we’re prone to make Jesus in our own image rather than surrender our lives to His will and His way. Without the way of the cross, we’re enslaved to the tyranny of our own will and desires rather than the freedom only found in submission to Christ the King!
Following Jesus requires that we never forget the way of the cross.
CGGC eNews—Vol. 15, No. 14