DayBreaks for 11/25/15: Living the Cross Life
Mark 8:34 – If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
What picture comes to you mind when you think of carrying your cross and following Jesus? I usually think of the pathway up the hill to Calvary. My mind goes immediately to the concept of carrying my cross to a martyrdom. It’s probably only natural that it should seem that way, since the cross was a sign of death – much like a gallows or a guillotine would be in our age.
But we should also contemplate that Christ not only died a cross-death, but he lived a cross-life. If the cross is considered as a symbol of sacrifice, Christ most surely lived a cross-life, a life of sacrifice from before He came to earth until He returned to heaven. He came not to be served to but serve all humanity. Perhaps never did he demonstrate the cross-life more than when he took the towel and basin to the feet of his disciples. Do you think for a single moment that Jesus couldn’t have called down ten million angels to free him from the grips of the guards who arrested him and led him to trial? But he didn’t. Why? Because he was as committed to living the cross-life as well as enduring the cross-death.
When you look at the passage in Mark closely, it’s clear that Jesus isn’t really talking about denying ourselves in martyrdom. That could be part of it, of course, but the invitation is to “follow him.” Dead people can’t follow – only living people can follow him. What he calls us to is to live the cross-life as he did.
How are you going to emulate the cross-life of Christ today?
Copyright 2005 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, today many things are going to seek our attention. Most of those things, Lord, will not help us focus on you. Lord, while we pray for the faith to die for the testimony of Christ, give us the courage this day and every day to live for Him! In Jesus’ name, Amen.