Thursday, March 26, 2015

Do You Believe?

Yesterday, Hubby and I went to see the movie,
"Do You Believe?"


I have thought a lot about this stirring movie since then and have had to ask myself that very question,
"Do I Truly Believe in the Cross of Jesus Christ?"
What does it mean to believe in the Cross?

 In the movie, they showed that to follow the Cross of Jesus is to be willing to do whatever is necessary to share Jesus Christ with others.

In other words, be willing to make whatever sacrifice is necessary to see that others see Jesus in your own life.

Jesus told us to "Take up your cross and follow Me."

In the Bible, the cross was an instrument of death. What Jesus is referring to is commitment to Him, even unto death—obedience to the extreme measure and willingness to die in pursuit of obedience. 

Death on a cross was not pleasant. It was painful and humiliating. The implication is that even if obedience is painful and humiliating, we should be willing to endure it for Christ.

By saying, "Take up your cross and follow Me" Jesus was giving us a word picture of the concept of "death to self," which originates in another saying of Jesus, "For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" (Luke 9:24-25).

The idea is that nothing in this life is worth keeping if it means losing eternal life, not a job, not a family, not a group of friends, not even our very identity. 

The multitudes that followed Christ were convinced that He was going to bring a glorious kingdom to earth, freeing them from the oppressive Roman rule. Even His own disciples were thinking this way (Luke 19:11). Misunderstanding the prophecies, they were shocked when He began to talk about death to self and carrying the cross (Luke 9:22). They left Him in droves because of these teachings. Similarly, believers today misunderstand the call of Jesus as a call to health, wealth and prosperity. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The call of Jesus is a call to die, but today many, unwilling to accept a call to die, leave Him or simply change His message to something more pleasant.

But His message never guaranteed a pleasant life. Jesus instead guaranteed that trials would come to His followers (John 16:33). Discipleship demands sacrifice, and Jesus never hid that cost. He also promised that He would be there for us to give us the joy and peace of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-19), comfort us in our trials (James 1:12), and act as a faithful high priest who understands our struggles (Hebrews 2:17) and accomplish for us peace with God by His blood (Romans 5:1).
This was an emotional experience as I stood by this Mosaic in Jerusalem in 1972 and later realized it appears to be resting on my shoulder.
Taking up our cross to follow Christ means, simply, commitment to the point of giving up our hopes, dreams, possessions, even our very life if need be. This is the attitude – the only acceptable attitude – of a true disciple (Luke 14:27). Jesus' followers regard the reward as worth the price. Jesus set the example for us in His death, to give us the gift of life:
"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it" (Matthew 16:25).

7 comments:

  1. Powerful and soul stirring post Libby. Happy Thursday!

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  2. AMEN! This was a GREAT post! Such wisdom and power here. I am anxious to see the movie too. How easy it is sadly to lose sight of our purpose sometimes. I get caught up in the day to day and forget the bigger picture. Soo easily distracted. Thanks for the reminder...Enjoy the rest of your day!

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  3. I have to find out where that is playing near us... I want to see it.

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  4. I believe! And now I'm looking forward to the movie! Thank you for sharing.

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  5. You have said this so well! I look forward to your blogs, and this one is exceptional. Hope we get to see the movie.

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  6. Very well said! I've heard many good reviews of this movie and we plan to see it.

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