Being Woven

The Burden of this Cross

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Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.   Matthew 16:24

ἀπαρνέομαι

aparneomai

to forget one’s self

lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests

disown, abstain

Jesus’ words strike a hard cord in me.  I am called to follow Jesus because I have chosen His way over mine, yet I still want to do things my way, guide the direction of my own life, take my own chances.  Then I hit a wall and it hurts.  I run on empty, unable to go anywhere in life except down by the pull of gravity.  In order to follow the Lord, I am to deny myself, releasing my desires and hopes for His, His alone.  When I am in step with Jesus, all that He desires for me are those things I need.  An interesting piece of God’s puzzle for my life is His desires for me are often just what I desire for myself.  I’m not losing after all.  The relationship with Christ is far more important so that I walk rightly with the Lord.

αἴρω

airō

  bear (up)

place on oneself

to carry

My burdens can be worries, anxieties, physical pain, other people’s lives and their concerns, hurting people of this world, and so much more.  All can weigh heavily upon my heart.  The Word tells me not to be anxious, not to worry.  He is faithful and is with me.  He feeds and clothes the birds; He will do the same for His children.  So I lift those weights and take them to Jesus.

σταυρός

stauros

a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specially), a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment)

figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial

by implication, the atonement of Christ:—cross.

The cross is what Jesus was placed upon for His crucifixion.  It is a horribly cruel punishment and eventual death.  Scourging comes first.  The one being crucified must carry his own cross.  Jesus did this part of the way until Simon was compelled to carry it the remainder of the way.  Jesus would hang upon the Cross until death.

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.  Luke 23:26

The cross is that which will kill this earthly life.

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I carry a cross, laden with burdens.  I place it there at the feet of Jesus.  He died for my sins.  Why do I continue weighing myself down?  Jesus has taken it all to the Cross.  Part of the definition of cross, in Greek, is self -denial.  I deny myself, being exposed to death, reproach, suffering, trials, punishment.  I am no longer mine, but His.

I am learning as I do that which Jesus asks of me: denying things of the self, lifting up that which weighs me down, carrying the cross to Jesus Who has already taken my burdens upon Himself.  It is in the doing, the actions of denying, lifting, and carrying to Jesus that I begin to find a clearer, deeper meaning to all that He is asking of me.

ἀκολουθέω

akoloutheō

to be or become the disciple of another as to faith and practice

to follow his teaching

Following Jesus is key to my walk in this Christian life.  When I am His, I desire to be near and to know the path upon which He leads me.  I release all burdens, knowing that He is caring for me.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

As Your child, LORD, I depend upon You.  When I feel alone, or struggling with concerns, You are right here.  You are yoked with me.  You know my physical pain, the concerns that touch my heart regarding others, my anxiousness over provision for this earthly life.  Your grace is truly sufficient, Sweet Jesus.  Sometimes I feel wrung out and worn out.  The Word says in Matthew 27, verse 39-40: And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself!  If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’  But You hung on that Cross, LORD, and paid the ultimate price for me, releasing me to walk with You always. You have given me eternal life.  How much more could I ask?  What else is there to ask?  Forgive me when I am selfish.  Often, when I deny myself, I must turn around and deny myself again, LORD, because I am selfish.  I just am, but am also very sorry.  I carry my cross to You so that I may follow You.  “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”  (Matthew 10:38 ESV)  I do not want to be called “unworthy,” LORD.  Thank You for walking with me on this journey even when I fail You.  Your forgiveness, Your love, Your gentle nature give me the hope in this life that my physical eyes cannot see, yet the eyes of my heart know hope for You are the Hope.  I love You, Jesus.  I pray gently in Your Name.  Amen. 

befuschiasig

 

Graphic:  by American/Dutch web designer Catherine Reijans, founder of KATINK web design; https://thinkingmuseum.com/2013/10/30/thinking-museum-on-think-katink/  (but the actual think-Katink web design site is no longer connected, but I want to give her credit where it is due)

Cross:  http://www.themescompany.com/2012/04/17/cross/

17 Comments

  1. Linda – I am so sorry, it has taken me a whole week to stop by and comment from #TuneInThursday linkup last week. I was away at a Conference since last week and the wifi was practically non-existent.

    Powerful and introspective… but such great truth too! I love the prayer at the end and the acknowledgement that we often carry the things we are not and they are burdensome, yet Jesus says give them to me. Thank you for sharing the depths of your heart in this post
    Again thank you for linking up last week, and I hope to see you today at #TuneInThursday

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  2. Such a beautiful prayer, Linda. Thank you for guiding us through the process of surrender. Blessings on your weekend!

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  3. I’ve hit that wall, too, friend — many, many times. I am so thankful that He picks up the pieces and puts me back together again. I hope you have a wonderful Easter. Your words here encouraged my weary heart today. Bless you!!!

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  4. I love your prayer, Linda! It’s always so important to bring what God is talking to us about to Him in prayer, fully surrendering those things to Him. What a beautiful privilege it is to bring all of our cares to Him in prayer and to know that we can leave them there.
    Blessings, sister. 🙂

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  5. Linda — this is a light-bulb moment for me. It seems so obvious, yet I hadn’t considered it in quite this way before — when you say He’s already taken my burdens upon Himself. I’m such a worrier by nature, and here I am worrying about something that was settled over 2,000 years ago. These modern day burdens – he’s already nailed them to the cross with Him. — Gracious. I’d never considered the cross in modern context before. Thanks for sharing this lovely post, Linda. ((xoxo))

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    • Such a powerful reply, Brenda. Your words are giving me more reason to ponder His Grace and Mercy! Thank you so much.

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  6. mareedee2016

    Beautiful post to remind us – quit doing it our way and point us to Christ.

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  7. I love how you share the meaning of the original language with us. Thank you for this reminder that we can take up our crosses because Jesus took up his. I am so glad you shared this with us at Encouraging Word Wednesday this week! Thank you!

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  8. A beautiful reminder especially this Lent. By God’s grace, we can carry this burden.

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  9. Your words remind me that there is a humility to receiving and carrying the specific burden or cross that God assigns. I’ve thought at times: “Lord, why THIS burden?” thinking that I’d be so much more capable at carrying a different on (of my choosing, of course.) He loves us enough even to choose our crosses.

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  10. What a great post, Linda. I loved how you shared the Greek words with us. We truly need the cross to die to ourselves, no way around it. Blessedly, it is God’s gift to us. All grace. Blessings to you, faithful servant!

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  11. I love to read the scripture passage, Matthew 11:28-30, because it reminds me that Jesus is here to take my burdens and will always be with me. May God help us to remember to go to Him rather than try to do it all ourselves. Thank you from sharing from your heart, Linda.

    Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #TeaAndWord.

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  12. Dear Linda,
    Oh my heart agrees with this prayer so much: “Often, when I deny myself, I must turn around and deny myself again, LORD, because I am selfish.” How thankful I am that He bore it all for me, so that I can place my burden, my cross, all at His feet. Thank you for these beautiful words, stirring my heart to Praise Him again.

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  13. welcomeheart

    interesting that what burdens us most is self – and when we lay it down, daily – for me, minute by minute if my head is on straight- that’s when I’m at my best and at His rest. Happy Easter, Miss Woven!

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  14. Linda, your beautiful words are always from your heart. They inspire me and remind me to seek my peace in Jesus, especially when this path is altered by emotional and physical pain.
    Thank you.

    Like

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