Thursday 22 July 2021
Title: Take Up His Cross Daily (Luke 9:23d)
By Choong Yoon Tong

Jesus requires His would-be followers to take up His cross daily. Contextually, the disciples would understand that the cross is an instrument of death. Rightly, it is an instrument to exterminate the evil elements and criminals in the society, to provide security and peace for the innocent. By the metaphor, Jesus desires His disciples to daily eliminate their sin that cause havoc against their peaceful righteous living.

Temptation penetrates easily through any defective screen and destroys the soul much like the prevailing virus against the body. Knowing that our own feeble will is too weak to withstand the wiles of the devil, God graciously sends the Holy Spirit in us to remind us to confide and confess to Him. We need to take up our personal cross daily, while Christ took up the cross of atonement for us, once and for all.

The cross is also a symbol of injustice of the Roman court. Pressured by the crowd, Pilate released the murderer but consented to crucify the innocent Christ (Luke 23:18-25). To be followers of Christ, the disciples know well they must be prepared to face daily mockery, shame and to suffer injustice for the calling of God. We must be ready to deny our pride and comfort to walk in His steps.

The cross also means excruciating death. Jesus purposefully sandwiches “taking up the cross” between prophecy of His death and the paradoxical eternal value of life and death. This is to forewarn that physical death is not unexpected for following Him. Notwithstanding the threat, we are also required to present our bodies as a daily living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, as our spiritual worship.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank You for taking up the heavy cross for all us sinners. Help me to take up my personal cross daily and be cleansed of all sin. Enable me to have the will and courage to follow Your way and command diligently, and to embrace any adverse condition with joy in the narrow path of Christian walk. Amen.

每日灵粮
2021年7月22日,星期四
题目:每天背起他的十字架
作者:钟荣堂执事
翻译:吴淑娉姐妹
经文:路加福音9: 23d

若有人想要跟从耶稣,耶稣要求他们必须每天背起自己的十字架,根据上文下理,门徒应该明白十字架是执行死刑的工具,更正确地说,是用来消灭社会上的罪恶和罪犯的刑具,好让没有犯罪的人受到保护。通过这个比喻,耶稣希望祂的门徒每天不要犯罪,以确保他们能够过着平安、公义的生活。

就像现时流行的病毒会对人体造成伤害,诱惑(或试探)也很容易穿过本身已有破损的防线,摧毁我们的灵魂,慈爱的上帝深知意志软弱的我们,不能抵挡魔鬼的诡计,于是差遣圣灵住在我们心中,提醒我们要对祂倾诉、向祂认罪。虽然我们必须每天背起自己的十字架,但基督为了让我们得以赎罪而背起十字架,一次便足够。

十字架也是罗马法庭不公正的象征,在群众的压力下,彼拉多选择释放凶手罪犯,却将无辜的基督钉在十字架上(路加福音23 : 18-25 ),若要跟从基督,门徒知道他们要有心理准备:为着回应上帝的呼召,可能每天都要面对嘲笑、羞辱或甚至不公平的待遇;在追随祂的过程,我们可能要学习谦卑、舍弃骄傲及舒适的生活。

十字架也意味着痛苦的死亡,耶稣特意将这"背起自己的十字架"的要求夹在预言自己受难及讨论"生与死"这矛盾的言论之间,这是要预先提出警告:跟随他可能引致肉体上死亡,尽管有这样的威胁,我们依然要将身体献上,当作活祭,是圣洁的,上帝所喜悦的,如此事奉,乃是理所当然的。

祷告

亲爱的主,感谢您,为我们的罪背起了沉重的十字架,请助我每天背起自己的十字架,洁净所有的罪。使我们有遵行你的道的意愿和勇气,并勤奋地作出指挥带领。在与主同行的路上,若遇到逆境困难,我们都可以欣然面对,阿们。