As we meditate on the fourteen Stations of the Cross, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we, too, are willing to take up our cross as Jesus did? Are we willing to:
- drink that cup and be baptized with that baptism? (Mark10:38-39; Matthew 20:22-23; John 18:11)
- present our bodies a living sacrifice? (Romans 12:1)
- give up our preferences and submit to God’s will for our lives? (Philippians 3:7-9; cf.Luke 22:42)
Can we really honor the passion of Christ–really celebrate “the resurrection and the life” on Easter–if we are not also prepared to accept with thanksgiving his suffering and death in our body?
“Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:24).“
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit…
When we become willing to take up our cross—willing to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holding nothing back—we find there is no necessary conflict between the hardships of life and the joy of our salvation. The turn of events continue to unfold— time and chance happens to us all —but the gift of God is with us always; the kingdom of heaven is within us; among us; at hand. It is, in a very real sense, spread out upon the earth (as is sometimes said) while remaining necessarily invisible to closed hearts and unsurrendered minds. Rest assured, the Way of Life and the Way of the Cross coincide. For when, by the grace of God,we become ready, willing, and able to relinquish control of our life on the horizontal plane (being crucified with Christ), we simultaneously receive the earnest of our inheritance (which is the power of the Holy Spirit) and awaken to the vertical dimension, being raised with Christ in newness of life even NOW (Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 2:12). Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely…
“The Now is no mere nodal point between the past and the future. It is the seat and region of the Divine Presence itself…. The Now contains all that is needed for the absolute satisfaction of our deepest cravings…. In the Now we are at home at last.”
~ Thomas Kelly, “A Testament of Devotion”