When asked if I would like to do a second topic for the Lenten meditations I decided I would not…..until the next morning’s reading in my devotions and the insight I believe the Lord gave to me from it. Then I knew that, yes, I must, and address the next topic which was “the cross.”
The passage given me was John 13:34-35 where the basic message is that Jesus’ love is love that takes upon itself the cross that is love that is for us as we are.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s devotional, “God is on the Cross,” says “Even today I can believe the love of God and forgive my enemies only by going back to the cross of Christ, to the carrying out of the wrath of God. The cross of Jesus is valid for all.”
If I’m forgiven, then how can I not forgive someone else? I have long felt the weight of that fact!
But, it was a passage in Luke 23:26 that I read that morning that prompted me to write this today. The passage says: “And when they led Him away, they laid hold of Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.”
I was stopped in my tracks as the passage jumped off the page to me, a passage that I have read hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times in my lifetime but didn’t spend much time thinking about.
This time, I heard someone asking:
“What cross has been placed on YOU?”
I thought of the many passages where Jesus told His disciples; “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me,” such as in Matt. 16:24 or Matt. 10:38.
For some, “the cross” is cancer. It could be a rebellious child, a spouse that abandons the marriage or is hard to live with, a regular struggle to retain what is studied for a test at school, a fruitless job, depression; you fill in the blank with your cross.
I believe the book of James even teaches that our “crosses” (trials) WHEN they come (not IF they come) are custom-made for us individually, but that’s another meditation for another day.
What struck me is this GOOD NEWS!
“While I may be compelled to carry a cross in my life………I will never be NAILED to it.”
Jesus DID THAT for ME!