Jesus Takes Up His Cross
In the painting The Light of Conscience, Jesus is alone at a long table. Here, the evening before his arrest, he shared a final meal with his disciples. Now, they have all left him. “Will you also go away?” Jesus once said to his close companions, when things were going badly. It seems they took him at his word.
Jesus is waiting….there is a seat for you at the table. Do you dare take it?
In all of history, no more unique requirement was ever given to become a member of any group. For those wishing to join his company, Jesus never required high intelligence, a college education, athletic abilities, artistic talent, or previous experiences.
His one requirement, so simple yet shockingly difficult:
“If you wish to be my follower, you must take up your cross [daily], deny your very self, and follow me.
If a man cannot be a Christian where he is, he cannot be a Christian anywhere . . . The elect are whosoever will, and the non-elect whosoever won’t. Henry Ward Beecher
Come to me, all you who labor and are
overburdened…Shoulder my yoke and learn from
me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
Art: The Light of Conscience, by Jorge Alexandre Rodriguez
Song: “Draw Me Close,” performed by Michael W. Smith