About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
The Cross - Then The Crown
"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.
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
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