There is no love without self-giving, no self-giving without pain and certainly no sainthood without suffering. P.E.Billheimer
Christ was categorical about those who wanted to share in his suffering, that they should take up his cross and follow him.
It was not an easy fete even for Peter, his closest ally, who denounced him thrice before the cock crowed; this same Peter who had vehemently declared that he would even go to prison with the master if that’s what it came to! In Mark 15:21 a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the cross for Christ. How sad it is that a stranger helped him yet he had always been surrounded by disciples and crowds of miracle seekers; people who had previously sang ‘hosannah!’ but were now saying ‘crucify him!’ Alas! This time round, only Simon from Cyrene was around.
Not that Christ needed anyone’s help! He was and still is deity and was more than capable of removing himself from the cross. But he had to drink of the cup so that we could be saved. In the book of John 18:6 we see how the soldiers came for him but fell down when he identified himself. No one took his life from him, he laid it down for us. From thence forth there would be no atonement of sins through traditional rituals because his death was atonement enough for humanity.
Jesus Christ is our eternal link to God. But in order for us to spend this eternity with our master, we must be made to be like him. This entails that we drink of his cup through perseverance in suffering because salvation is not the end but the beginning of struggles. However we are assured in the book of 1Corinthians 10:13 that the burden will only be as heavy as we can bear and that God will himself restore us after we have suffered for a little while-1Peter 5:10.
The question remains- are we ready to drink of the cup? Are we willing to share in this cross?
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