Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ says Jesus (Matthew 11:28)
Drop all your worries, all of your fears, all of your burdens, all that concerns you, all of your heart desires, all of your plans and ambitions, all of your troubles, adds the preacher. John Bunyan, in his book, Pilgrim’s Progress, describes an individual travelling with all his baggage of troubles meeting the man who relieves him of that load and frees him. That helps paint a picture of our sojourn here, our baggage of troubles are excessive and unnecessary weight that beset and hold us back, we should drop everything at the cross so we could run this race more freely.
Then Jesus adds, ‘…if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me’ (Matthew 16:24). Wait a minute, which cross again na? Is it the one already stacked with baggage? Do we drop our baggage at the foot of the cross, chain them together and then start dragging the cross along with it all? That would definitely suck bad. Why sign up for this you might ask? Well, that’s not what I signed up for too.
So hold on, don’t run from church yet. Stay with me let’s work this thing together. The cross, the symbol and indicator of Jesus, the first one I mentioned, represents Jesus and Jesus alone. For no other person could have hung on that tree for our sins and burdens. He shows us that He has resurrected far and above all that it is that troubles and threatens to kill us, once it’s nailed with Him. The cross is also symbolic of the pain that Christ went through. This is where I must transition into the next cross — your cross.
You would agree with me that nowhere in scriptures are we promised that after salvation, God comes to bathe us — nowhere in my Bible at least. This means that although God is your all, you’re still responsible for your own self under Him and more importantly, your growth in Him. You’re responsible to take yourself to the water and the soap that would wash you clean. The cross you must carry is getting ready for all the persecutions that comes with being ‘kingdom’. Your cross is all the betrayals, the false accusations, the neglect, the misunderstanding and the rejections that come with this new identity; even possibly, the unceremonious deaths that the martyrs experienced. And take note, I said ‘possibly’.
While THE cross represents, Jesus, the Christ, YOUR cross represents personal responsibility.
Yours with a quill,
Image from thedigitalmuse.net