Thoughts from The Bible

The Challenge of the Cross
There are some who seem to be born to sacrifice themselves for the good of others. In the animal kingdom, we accept this for our own survival when it comes to using certain animals for a vital food supply. We reason, “They were born for this purpose.” It’s more difficult to accept it that there are individuals who freely and selflessly choose a course that would mean their deaths for the good of mankind. Yet Jesus lived for this very purpose: to offer himself as a sacrifice in the place of others:

Matthew 20:28 (KJV) 28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
He came to destroy him who had the power of death, Satan:

Hebrews 2:14 (KJV) 14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

He came to put away the guilt of sin that was destroying the race:

Hebrews 9:26b (KJV) 26. . .but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

As the cross was a challenge to Jesus, it is also a challenge for His disciples.

Mark 10:38 – 39 (KJV) 38But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? 39And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:
His example calls for our willingness to be cross bearers as well.

Matthew 16:24 (KJV) 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
The cross is always before us as a challenge to our lives, to be just like Christ. As it was the culmination of Jesus’ life, living loyal to the cross must be the culmination of ours as well. The Apostle Paul wrote of his loyalty to the cross of Christ with these words:

Galatians 6:14 (KJV) “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

In this life it cost him dearly but, in the life to come, blessings eternal. That could very well happen to the Christian today. It may cost us a friend, a business partner, and, in some cases, possibly even a family member. In our society this seems to be more pressing an issue now than it was during some of our younger years. There is a challenge in being loyal to the message of the Cross of Christ! There is also a reward!!

The author can be reached for comments at 256-574-2489.

-Terry Broome

Local Weather

Clarion Facebook