WHO CARRIES YOUR CROSS?
16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
What an interesting question today. As I typed the title I really started thinking, wow that is a good question. Yes, I know that for many of us we think that we carry our baggage or our crosses, but in reality, how many of us step back and say, "OK Jesus, here you go." And we stand back and watch as HE carries the load. I know that may seem crazy, but I think that for all of us that is a reality. We cast our burdens on Jesus and then we sit back and watch to see how He carries the load. I know that is a heavy burden to bear, but I also know that for many times in my life I follow the scriptures and found a way to release the things that were causing me to stumble. But as a disciple of Christ... who should carry my cross?
I know that Luke 9:23 is one of my life verses. This means that it is a scripture that has found a way to impact my life and I continue to carry it with me and use it during times of discernment. Simply put, Luke 9:23 states, "Deny yourself, Take up YOUR cross and Follow me." I don't think that Jesus could not have been any clearer, but in my mind it is easier to say Jesus here is my cross. I bring it to you to lighten my load as I follow you. When Jesus was in the Garden and asking God to take this cup from Him, it was the atoning sacrifice that
was going to be made through his death. Jesus knew that was the end story and knew that the sins and the weight of the world would be cast on His shoulders. And so when I think about being a Christ follower, I ask myself this question, "Where is the line that I carry my cross to, and where is the point that Jesus takes my burdens?" Is there a place where I am to deny myself and carry my cross all the way til death, or is there a point where Jesus adds my load to His baggage? Is there a point to where we as disciples begin to take on our part of the burden as we follow Jesus daily.
This is not an easy question to answer. In fact, as I am typing this today, I am jumping back and forth in my mind because I want to follow Jesus with all that I am, but do I carry my cross so that I can understand the pain and the freedom? Am I able to recognize the sacrifice more if I am walking with Jesus step for step? It's not an easy answer. Scripture tells us again that Jesus says, "my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Does that mean when we finally come to follow Jesus that his burden is light because we have now realized the role that we play in carrying our cross in the world. We never was told that the journey was going to be easy. I mean Jesus said in the Book of Matthew, "Small is the gate and narrow was the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." It is a struggle and with the struggle comes a daily decision that we must make to either follow or not. And we can all admit that there are days that we all throw up our arms and say, "I can't do it today." That is real. But I need all of us to also understand that God will not and has not abandoned us in those times. God is walking beside us as we carry the load. It means that we all work together to take hold of the burdens in our lives so that the world can see a difference.
Look at the Scripture verse for today. After Jesus has washed the disciples feet, He comes back and helps them see the fact that in this life we are all working for the same ending. We all want the best for every one and we want others to experience the Gospel. In His humility, Jesus was expressing to the disciples that we are all important and we all need to share the load. No one is so great that they are better than someone else. No one's authority is so high that the lives of others is less important. Walking in this journey together, we all carry burdens and we all need help. Understanding the fact that Jesus is the Son of God is true, but also realizing that when we become a follower, we too have to carry a part of the load. In
the last part of the Scripture we read, "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." We will be blessed to lay down our lives but still continue to carry our cross as we follow Jesus EVERY DAY. I think that comes with maturity and it comes when we really are connected with God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. It is not going to be an easy step. In fact when we realize the importance of taking up our cross, we will step into the realize of just how heavy a burden we have placed. But once again we are not carrying it alone. We will never be left or forgotten, but we will have the chance to really understand the weight of our sins. I know that Jesus carried my cross for a long time, and the closer I come to Jesus the more I realize the importance of taking up my cross daily. It is a choice each of us has to make, and once you do.. I pray you never look back.