The Way of the Cross – Identifying with Jesus in His Death
Let’s take another look at the cross of Christ and think about what it really means for each of us.
Hebrews 13:11-16 – The blood of Jesus is something that we understand as Christians. The blood is only part of the cross experience. By faith we also die with Christ on that cross.
Every day as we take up the cross anew we experience death again. The disgrace that Hebrews talks about here is the cross, the symbol of disgrace and death. We are being asked to do the same, pick up our cross and go out into the world.
What is the cross? What does it mean to me? What does it mean to take up the cross?
Luke 9:23-24, Luke 14:27 – If I want to be a follower of Christ, I’m going to have to take up a cross. As a Christian we have but one choice, we must be willing to bear our cross.
- Jesus is asking us to Deny Ourselves – Ephesians 4:7 – The idea here is to break a relationship with ourselves. Peter when he denied Christ he said, “I don’t know him!” That is the same thing that we are called to do when we deny ourselves.
- Jesus is asking us to Take up our Cross Daily – The same instrument of death that Jesus died on is the one that we are to raise to our shoulders every day. If we want to follow Christ we must be willing to take up our cross daily.
- Jesus is asking us to Follow Him – A man who loves his life will loose it – John 12; My father will honor the one who serves me.
What is our Cross?
- Our cross is the instrument of our death – Galatians 2, Romans 6
- Our cross is our identification with Christ in His death
- Our cross is how we achieve victory in our battle with sin
- Our cross is our expression of faith in God and His working
- Our cross is how we show our submission to God’s will
Hebrews 13 – Cross bearing provides isolation for the Christian. We enjoy being with people and relating with them. There is isolation and separation that happens between us and those who have no interest in following the cross.
Galatians 6 – There are times when there will be disgrace and shame that is associated with walking with Christ.
Hebrews 13 – Sacrifice is another thing that comes along with taking up our cross. There are many sacrifices that we will be called upon to make. They should bring us joy.