Take Up Your Cross

GUWG-Cross-NewWe continue our journey through every word spoken by Jesus in the Gospels to help us all KNOW JESUS MORE NOW.

We’re attempting to answer the question What exactly are Christians supposed to do? by looking at 50 commands straight from the mouth of Jesus.

Here’s what it reeeeeally means to be a disciple:

Jesus on the Cross

GUWG-Three-CrossesWe continue our journey into every word spoken by Jesus in the Gospels to help us all KNOW JESUS MORE NOW.

In the last 24 hours, Jesus was betrayed, arrested, abandoned, mocked, beaten, tried and condemned. Then, at nine in the morning, he was hung on a cross at a place called The Skull (or, in Hebrew, Golgotha).

According to multiple eyewitnesses, here were Jesus’ final words:

Carrying the Cross

GUWG-Simon-CrossWe continue our journey into every word spoken by Jesus in the Gospels to help us all KNOW JESUS MORE NOW.

As we’ve been discussing the past few days, Jesus was condemned by the religious leaders in a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a trial. Then he was handed over to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, with demands that he be executed. Pilate eventually caved and ordered Jesus’ crucifixion.

Here’s what happened next:

God’s Health Care Plan

If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily
and follow me.
(Luke 9:23)

I’m blessed to attend a church headed by one of the largest-brained pastors in the history of the universe, Dr. Marc Erickson. In his sermon yesterday, Dr. Erickson — a former emergency room physician — diagnosed a serious disease running rampant through the world today:

SELFISHNESS

The prognosis? If left untreated, death. Fortunately, God provides a cure:

JESUS

When asked for God’s prescription for daily living, here’s what Jesus, the Great Physician, said:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
(Matthew 22:37-39)

In other words, we should do the exact opposite of what the world tells us to do. God’s agenda — not ours — should be #1. We should love Him above all else and then love others like we love ourselves.

What a wonderful world it would be if we all lived like that. Here’s a little prayer to help us all start off on the right foot . . .

GOOD MORNING, GOD!
Thanks for another day.
Help me live it for you.
Not for me.
Everything I have
everything I am
is yours.
Help me follow you
with every step I take today.

AMEN

Christianity In a Nutshell

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Stop whatever you’re doing right now and memorize this verse. Meditate on it. Live it.

LIVE BY FAITH IN JESUS

“Surely He Was the Son of God!”

This week, we’re walking in Jesus’ footsteps to the cross and beyond.

Yesterday, Jesus died on the cross. Or so it seemed.

Rather astonishing eyewitness reports are pouring in from all over. According to those accounts:

  • “Darkness came over all the land” from approximately noon until 3:00 p.m. yesterday as Jesus hung on the cross (Matthew 27:45).
  • At the exact moment of Jesus’ death, a huge curtain in the temple measuring approximately 60 feet high and 4 inches thick was “torn in two from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:51). According to religious authorities, that curtain separated the “Most Holy Place” — an inner sanctum symbolizing God’s presence — from the rest of the temple.
  • There were also reports of earthquakes and rocks splitting at the exact moment of Jesus’ death (Matthew 27:51).
  • Stranger yet, witnesses reported that “the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life” and “came out of the tombs” (Matthew 27:52-53).
  • Even Jesus’ executioners appeared to be affected by the strange events. One centurion reportedly exclaimed: “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54)

STAY TUNED

It’s Friday . . .

. . . but Sunday’s coming. Click here.