About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman

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First The Cross - Then The Crown


Luke 9:23 reads:


"Then he [Jesus] said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me."


Jesus is asking us to do something He Himself has already done.  The moment the Spirit of God fluttered upon Jesus' shoulders at His water baptism was the moment His Messianic mission as the sacrificial Lamb of God commenced.  He would deny Himself, carry His metaphorical cross until the day of His sacrificial death on a literal cross.  It was not until Jesus rose from the dead that He was given His crown and became the ultimate universal authority over all things material and all things spiritual.  For Jesus, first came the cross and then the crown.       


As Christians, we are to walk in Jesus' earthly footprints, except that is, for those footsteps that led to a literal cross.  We are to deny self, and metaphorically speaking, carry our crosses as submissive lambs of God.  That being said, not all who call themselves Christians view their lives as submissive lambs.  Influenced by our surrounding culture, those who embrace Hyper Faith teaching believe they are Kids of the King, and as such, they claim that they can wear their metaphorical crown right now.  They expect to benefit from all material and spiritual blessings available in this life, and if they fail to be beneficiaries of the good life, they blame it on a lack of faith.  In contrast and like Jesus, I believe we are to deny self and carry our crosses until such time Jesus places a crown on our heads, as noted in Revelation 2:10.                


"Don't be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison to test you, and you will experience affliction for ten days. Be faithful to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life."


This does not mean we seek to be poverty stricken in this life.  We seek the life of Jesus to be reflected in the life He provides us.  Foundational to our lives is that first comes the cross, then comes the crown.  It was that way with Jesus and it is that way with us

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