Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Cross Is Both Vertical And Horizontal

Jesus bore the cross for our salvation, but what is the cross that He speaks about in Luke 9:23-27?  Verse 23 - "And He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."
 The cross is horizontal, representing the relationship between us and God.  There's an abandonment with this earthly world that we must make in order to truly follow Christ.  Most all Christians understand this concept, but what about the vertical part of the cross?  That represents our relationships with other people.  This may be the most difficult aspect of 'taking up our cross daily' we face.
When we are challenged with forgiving, loving, serving and accepting others, we often times balk with multiple excuses of why we shouldn't.  I Peter 4:8-10 says, "And above all things have fervent charity (love) among yourselves; for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins.  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."  (KJV. Words in parenthesis mine)  Notice in verse 8 it says the multitude of sins.  I think Jesus is emphasizing that not only will each of us have sins that need love to cover, but that each of us will have 'many'.  Not only will I need love to cover my sins, but I will need to give love to cover the sins of others.  This covering of love comes to us first from the blood of Jesus Christ.  If He gave it to us, it wasn't strictly for us to have and to hold, but to be shared.  Let's remember that our Christian walk is more than the relationship between us and God, but also the relationship between us and others!

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