A missionary told the story of watching a man, dressed like Jesus carrying a cross through crowded streets during Easter week. He was intrigued by the scene and got as close to the man as possible. He wanted to observe him more carefully so he could tell the story to others. When he finally was a few feet from him, he noticed that under his garment was a pillow that cushioned the weight of the cross so it would not hurt him.
We must never forget the weight of the cross that Jesus carried on our behalf. Picture, if you can, the scene: the heat of the day, the blood streaming down His face from the crown of thorns and down His back from the horrible beatings He endured before the nails were driven through His hands and feet, crowds laughing and taunting, alone and abandoned by His trusted friends and followers.
Too often we look at an empty cross and forget the reality of the cross and what it cost Jesus and His Father. Our religion has become a religion of convenience – not of conviction.
We have glamorized the cross and made it into a piece of jewelry that adorns the necks of people who do not know or want to know the story of redemption. To many it is simply an ornament – something worn but not born. Jesus said, “If you want to be my follower, then shoulder your cross and follow me closely.”
Prayer: Help us, Father, through Your grace, to understand the cost and value of our salvation. May we accept our part of the price by shouldering our cross with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Mark 8:34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.