I have written a devotional each day this week, Passion Week, for the church I pastor. It was suggested that I make them available on my personal blog. So I am.
Here’s today’s devotional. If you are interested in the earlier ones click here and you can check them out on Facebook.
The Way of The Cross – Walking with Christ (Thursday)
As I typed the title – “The Way of The Cross” – I caught my self humming a tune of a song we would sing in the Baptist churches of my youth: “The Way of the Cross Leads Home.”
Here are the lyrics:
“I must needs go home by the way of the cross,
There’s no other way but this;
I shall ne’er get sight of the gates of light,
If the way of the cross I miss.”
Then the chorus:
“The way of the cross leads home; (then all the bass singers would echo “Leads home”)
The way of the cross leads home; (leads home),
It is sweet to know as I onward go,
The way of the cross leads home.”
The tune had a marching sound to it. It was like we were marching home. Home, according to the last verse of the song, is heaven:
“Then I bid farewell to the way of the world,
To walk in it nevermore,
For the Lord says, ‘Come,’ and I seek my home,
Where He waits at the open door.”
Is the way of the cross simply about getting into heaven? Here are the instructions a lot of us were given:
“If you accept Jesus as your Savior, and believe that he died on the cross to forgive you of your sin, then you will be saved, and go to heaven when you die.”
That’s pretty much what the “way of the cross” meant to me.
How about you?
The cross was little more, if nothing more, than the way to get to heaven.
Maybe we missed it. Maybe there’s more to it.
Let’s think about the “way of the cross in light of 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
“Foolishness.” Paul uses that word again in 1 Corinthians 1:21 to describe the message that is preached.
What makes the cross, the way of the cross, the message of the cross, foolish? Check it out. Compare it to the way of the world (I just started humming the Earth Wind and Fire tune!).
The world says, “Hate your enemies.”
The cross says, “Love your enemies.”
The world says, “Do unto them before they do unto you.”
The cross says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The world says, “Eye for an eye!”
The cross says, “Forgive those who wrong you.”
The world says, “People who do wrong should be killed.”
The cross says, “Those who are without sin cast the first stone.”
The world says, “It isn’t cheating, if you don’t actually do it.”
The cross says, “Even if you merely think of cheating you are guilty of it.”
The world says, “Might makes right!”
The cross says, “Truth and love make right.”
The world says, “You get hit, hit ‘em back harder.”
The cross says, “You get hit, turn the other cheek.”
The world says, “The Greatest are the greatest.”
The cross says, “The Greatest are the least.”
The contrasts go on and on!
What do you think?
The way of the cross sounds foolish, doesn’t it? Does Jesus really expect us to live like that?
The way of the cross seems hard, doesn’t it?
It’s a lot easier to just accept Jesus as my Savior who died on the cross for my sins than to actually live the way of the cross.
Did Jesus have the “way of the cross” in mind when he said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”? Is this really a calling for us to live a way of life that looks like His?
Is this “way” what Jesus referred to in Matthew 7:13-14 when he talked about the narrow way being pretty isolated but the wide way being crowded?
Is this “way” what Jesus was thinking about when he told Peter that Peter was thinking wrong (Maybe thinking like the world?) and that Peter needed to take up his cross and follow him (Matthew 16:23-24)?
Today, let’s walk with Jesus. Let’s live the way of the cross.