May 16, 2018: They asked that which was not possible.

Mark 15:32 (NIV)
32  Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

“I am my own master.  I define my own fate.” In our world, we often hear such statements.  If you are going to find life you have to go out and live it.  Think of yourself.  Live for your own desires and pleasures.  Such philosophy has the appearance of wisdom but hidden within its very letters are the seeds of death and judgment.

The crowds demanded that Jesus show himself to be God by coming down from the cross so they could believe. They could not understand all that Jesus had already taught about himself.  Jesus said he had come to give his life as a ransom for many.  If he came down from the cross he could not save anyone and he would cease to be the God he had already revealed himself to be.  For him to come down from the cross would be to go against his very nature.

When we have confronted the horrific nature of the cross we cannot imagine anyone claiming to be God would ever allow themselves to be subjected to such cruel treatment.  If he was God then how could he allow his own body to suffer so at the hands of cruel and wicked men?

The cross was the means by which God would redeem a lost world to himself.  There can be no redemption without the cross, there can be no life without the cross.  The way the world will see and believe is when those who claim the name of Christ actually pick up the cross the live their lives in view of the cross.

To refuse to carry the cross is to reject God’s specific command to die to your old way of living and accept that God’s way is best no matter the cost.  Actually, the cost will be your life.  The salvation that Jesus offers is not some self-improvement course on how to live, it is rather a course on how to die so that a new resurrection kind of life will be found.

Someone said it best, there can be no resurrection without there first being a crucifixion.

Saint of God, if you are looking for the way of life that your Lord has called you to look no further than this, “Pick up your cross, die to your old self so that Jesus may raise you to live a life of resurrection power.”

The only way the world will see Jesus and believe is when the believers actually do what Jesus has already commanded all of us to do.

Time to pick up your cross and die to self,

 

Pastor Phil

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