“Take Up Your Cross And Follow Christ!”
For the last two days we have been reflecting on the story of the fall in Genesis. Today we fast-forward to Jesus. This reminds me of the song, “The Son Of God came down from heaven to fix that which Satan had spoiled.”
Ironically, Satan is always looking for an opportunity to press the spoil button. Jesus began to explain to his disciples the ordeals he was soon to pass through, leading to death and resurrection on the third day. Satan again, through Peter attempted to press the spoil button. Peter thought he was doing a great favour to Jesus by rebuking him, “Never, Lord! This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Imagine that Jesus did not die as Peter wanted! He wouldn’t have conquered death to become the Christ! And our salvation wouldn’t have been guaranteed!
Each time our focus is about comfort and security, we are acting for Satan! Each time we want to play safe in God’s name, we are not having in mind the things of God, but the things of men!
To follow Jesus is to deny self and take up one’s cross and follow Christ. Shakespeare’s Gratiano told Antonio, “…People with too much invested in the world always get hurt…” All the same, Gratiano was only parodying what Jesus had said in clearer words, “What good will it be for a man if he gained the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” The answer is, *”No good at all!” & *”Nothing!”*
Therefore my friend, do not be a stumbling block to Jesus because that will be like shooting yourself on the leg. Rather, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”(Mt. 6:33). After all, when Christ returns, “he will reward each person according to what he has done”(Mt.16:21-27).
Prayer: Holy Spirit, guide me not to be a stumbling block but that I should always have in mind the things of God and not the things of men. Amen!
Have a blessed day! Peace be with you!