Shadow of the Cross
Have you ever been frightened by a shadow? It is common to the human experience. From the time we are a small child, we see the vague outlines of something and our brain races to fill in the details with assumptions that often leads us to fear. This foreboding sense will keep a young child from being able to sleep in the dark. It leads adults to be suspicious of others. Perhaps worst of all, it leads those who claim to be Christians to doubt the goodness of their God. However, the truth is that the anticipation is often worse than the reality.
Jesus Christ left His throne in glory to be incarnated into the human condition. In fact, He did not only come to experience what we experience, but also to pay the price for all of our failures. In short, He came to suffer and die upon the cross. For the entirety of the time that He lived upon the earth the shadow of the cross hovered over Him. Even in the greatest moments when He was performing miracles and revealing truth, He was always conscious of the fact that the cross was coming. That reality would really press in on Him when He suffered betrayal or had to surrender His will to that of the Father. Can you imagine the internal struggle when the ones He came to save would despise the truth He presented or demand that He minister to their needs while He Himself was suffering. Yet, He remained committed to this death of the cross because He knew full well that resurrection and redemption for the human race lay just beyond it.
This is all worth noting because Jesus openly declared in Luke 11:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” As Jesus walked this earth under the shadow of the cross, so must we. We face many of these same struggles and battles. When we feel betrayal or suffer for the sake of ministry, the temptation is always there to feel that it is not worth it. The flesh screams at us to run, hide, and protect ourself. But the voice of Jesus tells us to endure, to press on because in the beauty of His time it will all reveal itself as worth it. As David once said, “weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning.”
Join us as we study Luke chapters 22 – 24 in these weeks leading up to Easter and examine Jesus’ life as He walked under the shadow of the cross. It will teach us how walking by faith allows us to see the joy that awaits.
Sermon Series Schedule:
Betrayal (Luke 22:1-62) on March 5th
Battle of Wills (Luke 22:39-24) on March 12th
Truth Despised (Luke 22:63-23:25) on March 19th
Ministry in Suffering (Luke 23:26-43) on March 26th
Committed to Death (Luke 23:44-46) on April 2nd
It’s Just a Shadow (Luke 24) on April 9th