We have just celebrated the Resurrection of Our Lord! The grave could not hold Him! Praise God! But we must remember that before He had this victory, He had to carry the cross.
“As the soldiers led Him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on Him and made him carry it behind Jesus.”
I truly believe it was in the Sovereignty of God that the soldiers allowed this to happen. Why do I say that?
“They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.”
The soldiers had shown Him no mercy before, why would they do it then?
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”
You know, God does the same for us. He knew we were going to have to carry heavy crosses sooner or later, so He sent His Son to help us carry the burdens of life.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
The road to the cross is a hard one to travel alone. I love that expression, “The cross before me, the world behind me.” The only way we can truly overcome the trials is to keep our eyes on Jesus. If we do that, He will give us the strength to keep going when the burdens seem heavier than we can bear.
2 Corinthians 12:9
“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for the power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in Me.”
We have to remember we can never be victorious if we never fight the battle. We will never know how big our God is and what our faith can accomplish! That is the last thing satan wants. He loves to sit on our shoulders and scream in our ear, “Quit trying to overcome this! You will not win! It is too hard! If God truly loved you, He would not have let this happen. Well, my friend, the hotter the fire, the more the flames can refine. Discouragement is not from the Lord. It is a tool of satan!
I truly believe that all the battles we face in life are used to make us the people God created us to be. He uses those trials to embed our testimonies in the hearts of others. I can say that from experience. Who in their right mind would want to have to fight the battle of cancer and then fight the repercussions for fifty yeas afterwards? No one! But I know that the Lord can use me more this way than He could before. After all, He is the potter and I am the clay! He has never forsaken me yet and I believe in my heart, He never will. He just keeeps whispering, “one more step, you can do this!”
Yes, my friends, the road to the cross is a long one! As time passes and our journey continues, we need to look in the rearview mirror of life and see the distance we have traveled. How did we make it through the crossroads to Calvary once more? Was it because of the tiny seed of faith grasped in our hand as we put one foot in front of the other? Was it because we heard His whisper to our aching heart through the sounds and beauty of His creation? Was it because He whispered to us through a smile, a touch on the shoulder, or a kind word from another person? The important thing is that we heard His whisper! It was enough to keep us moving until we reached the cross, where we could finally put our burdens down. Our hands will probably be full of splinters and blistered but we did it! I have to ask myself, “which splinter would I remove if I had a choice to make?” My reply would be, “none, not one, there would be too much at stake!”