Take Up Your Cross
By Lois J. Stucky (1928 - 2014)
Our great example of living to please God is our precious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who said of Himself: "He that sent Me is with Me: the Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him" (John 8:29).
Christ’s choice was always to put His Father’s will above His own, cost what it may. "I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me" (John 5:30). And this noble captain of our salvation desires followers who will do likewise. He hid nothing of His expectations from His would-be followers. "Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it" (Mark 8:34-35).
That is not an appeal that is popular. At that word, many turn back. We want the marvelous blessings and benefits that Christ purchased for us. But must we walk the way of the Cross? Oh, the sorrowful Garden of Gethsemane, the beatings of the soldiers, the torturous Via Dolorosa through Jerusalem’s streets, the utter agony of the spikes on Calvary – that, of course, is all unique to Christ. Yet, He says, he who would follow Him must "take up his cross." God has a unique cross for each of us. If the cross God asks us to bear seems heavy, think of Christ! Watch with Him in Gethsemane; witness the beatings, trace the bloody trail through the streets of Jerusalem, to the unspeakable spectacle of the loving and gentle Master agonizing on the Cross. It will put lovers of Christ on their knees afresh in humility and brokenness….