The Message of the Cross

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24 NIV

Some people wear a cross around their neck while others have bracelets or earrings, using it as a fashion statement. But even though the cross has become a popular design for jewelry, its message remains difficult to receive.

In Jesus’ day, no one wore a cross for decoration or thought it would be nice to have one on the peak of their roof. That is because the cross to them was both the most horrible way to die and also a constant threat to anyone who would dare to challenge the Roman rule. In fact, the very thought of crucifixion was so horrible that no one even mentioned it. But Jesus was not afraid to talk about the cross. As His time on earth neared its end, He repeatedly told His disciples about it. But just as it is today, the followers of Jesus couldn’t understand and were not ready to receive the sacrifice that Jesus was about to make for them. But instead of turning back, Jesus went to Calvary, freely giving Himself because of God’s great love for us. So today whether or not you wear one around your neck, ask yourself whether you have received the gift of the cross, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. True faith means loving the cross and giving our lives to Him, just as He has for us. Only in His cross will we will discover the wonderful joy and peace of knowing that our sins are forgiven and that we will be with Him forever!

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