This morning—on this ‘Holy Saturday’, the eve of Resurrection Sunday—I am taking the time to employ my two thumbs to tap out an anthem of sorts. It is my own reflection on the Cross. To me, the very heart of the gospel IS the Cross. And when I reference the Cross, I am not talking about the sort of a cross you wear as an earring…or hang around your neck on a chain. I am talking about a cruel Roman cross. The sort of a cross where Jesus hung, bled and died. That cross is the symbol of suffering and sacrifice. It speaks of hurt, of pain, of humiliation, of rejection. The realization of this matter-of-fact creates a “freeze frame” moment for me; the powerful words of the well known Hymn are repeating themselves in my head: ‘JESUS PAID IT ALL; ALL TO HIM I OWE!’
I am shaken awake from my spiritual slumber! I can have no part in a “gospel” message that does not call me to engage with those around me; a “gospel” that involves no sacrifice, or that costs me less than the best I have to give. I have a duty and a responsibility as a follower of Jesus Christ to live as a witness—whose words, actions and attitudes point people to Him. I have not been called to be ‘mainstream’, or to be ‘relatable’; It is no t my “divine right” to be materially prosperous or to live in perfect health; Nor am I (as a “King’s Kid”) entitled to a life free from all trials, troubles or adversity. In fact, Jesus told me/tells us, “In the world, you WILL have tribulation [you will be tried, tempted, tested, afflicted and assayed], but be boldly confident, for I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33). The Resurrection, among other things, declares just that: Jesus has overcome sin & death! Additionally, He has triumphed over Satan, the god of this world! He is the Victor, not the victim—and we are victorious by, in, with & through Him!
What is the end of all this? That I have been called by Jesus (my Master, my Saviour and my King) to “take up the cross daily” and to follow Him. My duty and responsibility as a Christian is to be faithful: faithful to God and faithful to His word…which will manifest itself in me being faithful to love and to serve those around me.
The verse below sums up my thoughts and my response to what I have written above. I wish to thank the Holy Spirit for inspiring the Apostle Paul to state it so simply, clearly & distinctly ~ “Let a man so account of us, as of the servants of Christ, and as stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” (1Corinthians 4:1-2)