|image credit: http://coming-alive.com|
Even though the cross has become a fashion symbol in modern society, its original meaning was an embarrassment and a scandal.
Crucifixion was a method of execution that was invented by the Romans to publicly shame, humiliate, and eliminate the people they thought posed a threat to their established kingdom.
Jesus preached about the coming kingdom of God. The Romans saw that as a threat. So they crucified him.
But on the journey to his final confrontation and crucifixion in Jerusalem, Jesus made it clear that the path of self-giving sacrifice was to be the path for all those who would be known as his followers (see Mark 10:43-45).
To follow Jesus to the cross is to follow Jesus down the path of self-giving sacrifice for others. There's no doubt that there's something scary about that kind of life. There's some uncertainty and risk involved if you actually do what Chris Tomlin sings about: "Where you go, I'll go. Where you stay, I'll stay. When you move, I'll move. I will follow you."
But there's also something very intriguing and exciting about it. When you die to your dreams and desires, the grace of God doesn't leave you in the grave; it raises you in a new life filled with God's dreams and desires. That's what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said, "My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2:20).
Does your life look more like it's just you, or more like it's Jesus in you?
We die, but then we come alive.
And in this new life, it's no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us.
Lead Me to the Cross