There’s a well-known riff on Holy Week by the preacher S.M.Lockridge with a refrain that crescendoes, “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a comin.”
But today, mid-week between the enthusiasm of Palm Sunday and the joy of Easter, I thought, “It’s Wednesday, but Friday’s a comin’.”
The sun may be shining now, but a cross will be raised up on Friday, casting a long shadow on the world. And though Easter will come on Sunday, the shadow of the cross will remain.
Yes, it will be Easter Sunday and we will celebrate the resurrection and the cancelled debt of sin. But Friday will be coming again for there are many more crucifixions that are needed in my life.
There are a thousand little deaths to come as I follow after Jesus, a million little denials of my self. To be His disciple means that I am a cross-carrier. Every day I pick it up. Some mornings, it feels like a ton of bricks, and other times, I find it surprisingly light. Either way, “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” [II Corinthians 4:10]
So here are some Friday, cross-carrying thoughts:
“On the other side of death is freedom, and no one is more free than a dead man. Jesus had much to say about death to self, and on the journey to the ‘me you want to be’, you will have some dying to do.”
“The cross is laid on every Christian. It begins with the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with His death… we give over our lives to death… When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.
It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow Him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time… death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at His call. That is why the rich young man was so loath to follow Jesus, for the cost of his following was the death of his will. In fact, every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts.”
“The church is not made up of spiritual giants;
only broken men and women can lead others to the cross.”
David J. Bosch
“Dear Jesus, help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and love.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of You.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus.
Stay with me, and then I shall begin to shine as You shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.”
Mother Teresa of Calcutta