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 or cause him pain.
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 stripes 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 as an object of art 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 the extreme cost of our 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.” No pillow required.
Prayer: Help us, Father, through Your Spirit, to understand the cost and value of our salvation. May we accept our part of the cost by shouldering our cross with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture For Today: Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. Mark 8:34
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