We All Have Our Crosses to Bear
Do you know why atheists feel justified in saying that there is no God? Because even Jesus, dying on the cross, called out to Him, and He didn’t come to Jesus’ rescue.
Abandonment is felt by every single one of us, mostly when our parents die. But children of divorced parents will feel this sooner than most. And it makes us feel unworthy and unloved.
And yet, what if God is actually suffering with us, helping us to bear our cross? What if the only way for Him to get through to us is when we go through a crisis of confidence?
Even King David…
Psalm 22 is a very emotional roller-coaster. Most of us cannot adequately verbalize exactly how awful it feels to be alone. David was a poet. He knew how to express his feelings. This Psalm is the proof of that.
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me,
so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
by night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
6 But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
“let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
since he delights in him.”
9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my people;
in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
those who seek the Lord will praise him—
may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth
will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
declaring to a people yet unborn:
He has done it!
One of Jesus’ Last Sayings
When Jesus was on the cross, he spoke the first line of David’s Psalm aloud, and then recited the rest of the words quietly to himself. It was standard practice to do that. Somehow, the people ‘in the know’ would have understood that he was also showing how David had prophesied his death by crucifixion.
As Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17) He understood his mission was to be everything that God wanted for all of us.
“Go and do likewise…”
At the end of Jesus’ recitation, he spoke the last line aloud again (as was the standard practice). Most scripture interprets this as “It is done,” thinking that he meant his life. That became another of Jesus’ last sayings, although it was connected to the earlier one.
Lose Your Life for My Sake
Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?…”(Matthew 16:24-26)
It’s a tough choice, isn’t it? Our whole physical process is one of survival. This seem so counter-intuitive that we deem it nonsense. But is it, really?
If we wait until our lives are over, we have wasted the opportunity to live life to the fullest NOW. It’s only when you realize that your version of living is flawed that you allow a better version to take over. Your higher spirit knows what you really want. Your ego, by contrast, just wants to prove that anything other than its control is death. And that is true, but only death to your ego.
When you allow your higher spirit to regain control, you stop acting like there are two sides warring with each other. You begin to be ONE.