LEARNING TO BEAR THE CROSS WITH JESUS
Luke 23:26 – When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.
As we gather tonight for our Good Friday services, we will experience together the cross-centered life. We first gaze on Jesus’ cross. We revel in what He accomplished for us. But, we will also venture into the territory of our own cross-bearing.
What must it have been like for Simon of Cyrene on that Good Friday? What must it have been like to be a man minding his own business, attending to his own agenda, to have been seized by Roman soldiers and placed under the crushing weight of Jesus’ already blood-stained cross?
One short verse in Luke’s Gospel. One man whose memory would be forever seared with the image of the Christ on the way to His death. One life forever changed by the One who ultimately bore the cross for the sin of the world.
Here’s my prayer and hope for you tonight (and for the rest of your life): May you hear the life-transforming call of The Cross Bearer. May you gaze into the heart of God’s love knowing that “God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). May you come to know true freedom in yoking yourself with Jesus, knowing “Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Philippians 3:10). May you expectantly walk with Him down the road of the cross-centered life.
Questions for Reflection & Prayer
What does it mean for me to pick up my cross and follow Him?
Where is Jesus calling me to die? Where is He inviting me to live?
Take a moment and pray for your worship experience at tonight’s Good Friday service.
JESUS, tonight as we gather to gaze upon Your cross, the tree where You bore the penalty and shame of our sins, might we more fully understand what it means. Might we understand what it means to now be free—free to walk with You down the road to the cross-centered life. Jesus, my Lord, tonight I long to meet with You. I long to be fully drawn into Your passion and suffering. But I also long to be drawn into the joy that was set before You as You endured the cross, as You despised the shame and as You looked toward the throne of heaven You would soon be seated upon with Your Father. Jesus, lead me down the beautiful, cross-centered road tonight. Thank You, Amen!
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