The Cross of Christ

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16.24
From Palm Sunday to Good Friday Jesus’ mission on earth was drawing near.  He was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world.  On the cross Jesus proclaimed: “It is finished”.  Jesus, the unblemished lamb of God, paid the price for our sins.  “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” I Peter 2.24
Jesus invites us to follow Him by taking up our cross as we share in His suffering.  We are invited to lay down our sins at the cross, so that we might not only be forgiven, but that we might also share in His Resurrection.  By the death and Resurrection of Christ, we have access to the Holy Spirit who not only removes our filthy rags, cleansing us and setting us free from sin and death, but who also places upon us a Robe of Righteousness.  Jesus, “who knew no sin”, took our sins upon Himself and has now laid upon us, clothed us with His righteousness.  Our invitation to deny ourselves and to pick up our cross and follow Jesus is to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us, that we might become like Christ.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2.5-8
We are to live humbly before God and others.  We are to live as servants of God.  We are to empty ourselves in order that we might become a servant to all.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2.3-4
We share in the suffering of Christ, knowing that we also share in His Resurrection.  
Where is God asking you to lay down your life?  How are you being called to live humbly before God and others?  What do you need to leave at the foot of the cross in order to be a servant of Christ?  (Jealousy, greed, bitterness, pride…)
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