Friday, July 06, 2012

Embracing the Cross

True Christian expectations centre on the cross and involve an acceptance, if not the willing embrace, of the suffering, weakness and marginalisation which inevitably come to those who follow in the footsteps of the Master.  These are to be the horizons of expectation of the believer as an individual and of the church as a whole.

Carl Trueman
Reformation:  Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Page 53

And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take
up his cross daily and follow Me." Luke 9:23

Notice that the "was saying" in this verse is in the imperfect tense, which means Christ was saying this repeatedly, over and over, so as to make His point as to the earnest seriousness  one must have in following Him.  He did not want them to miss this important point.  Later in  Luke 14:26-27, Jesus has this to say,
"If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.  Whoever does notcarry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Again in Luke 21:17 Christ says"and you will be hated by all for My name's sake."

The embrace of the cross, for us as Christians, must be a personal embrace of the entirety of the cross.  Too much has been made today of the benefits to Christians of Christ's cross while ignoring the costs and necessity of our carrying our cross.

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