Walking The Road to The Cross
He Knows The Way
A few weeks ago, I was preparing a sermon for a worship night at my local church. Many members of our church family were fasting during this time. God began to speak to me on the kind of fast that truly pleases Him. As I studied Isaiah 58, the Father whispered to my heart, “What is the kind of fast I desire, daughter? Is it not to lay down your life for others? I am asking my children to lay down their petty arguments, their offenses, their competition and comparison, their insecurities, and instead to pick up their crosses, just as My Son did.” As I stood in the pulpit delivering this message, my heart began to truly break and to cry out that God would teach me how to die for this generation.
A few days later, I was in a worship service pouring out my heart before the Lord. Down on my knees, head in my hands, I cried out to the One who was slain, “Teach me how to die for You, Jesus. I want to lay down my life for the Gospel.” Suddenly, I was in an open vision. I was standing at the beginning of a road that was laid at my feet. The road was dirt and lined with ancient looking structures. As my gaze traveled farther, in the distance I saw that the road led to Golgotha hill. I realized that the road I stood upon was the road to the cross. I could see three crosses standing there in the distance, and suddenly I felt confused. I looked to my right and there stood the Lamb, dressed in white.
“Jesus,” I said, in a confused tone, “I thought I was up there.” I pointed and repeated, “I thought I was on the cross with You.” In my heart I had believed that I had already laid down my life for the Gospel. I thought I knew what it meant to suffer for Him. As I stared ahead, I realized that I had only been pretending to die, living in pretense and self righteousness.
“Not yet, Daughter,” He smiled at me and held out His hand. “But I know the way. I’ve walked it before. Let me teach you the steps that will lead you to the cross.” I put my hand in His hand, and we began to dance on the road. Then I was released from the vision.
The Cost of Resurrection Power
As I pressed into God’s presence and His Word, the Lord began to talk to me about the cost of Jesus’ Resurrection. Many times I had quoted the Scripture from Romans eight, verse 11: “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you (NASB).” Each of us is hungry for the same power that raised Christ from the dead to dwell in us and give life to our mortal bodies. What I did not grasp as I glibly quoted this verse, is the cost of resurrection power.
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 (NASB)
We conveniently forget the process that Jesus willingly walked through in order to arise on the third day as the Conqueror of sin, death, hell and the grave. First He had to die. First he emptied Himself by taking the form of a slave. First He humbled Himself and became obedient to the most wretched death imaginable: death on a cross.
“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10 (NKJV)
Jesus invites us to walk with Him, to pick up our own crosses, to go through the same process of perfecting that He Himself went through, in order that we might walk in the same power and authority that He now has received from His Father.
For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11 (NASB)
This is the mind that God wants to be IN us – the mind of Christ is a mind that makes himself of no reputation and becomes the servant of all. Jesus told His disciples in Luke 22, verses 25 through 27, “The kings of the Gentiles domineer over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ But it is not this way for you; rather, the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves” (NASB).
God is calling us to pick up our crosses daily by laying down our lives for the causes that matter to His heart. In part two of this important discussion, we will address practical ways that we can die daily for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- The Road to The Cross Pt. 1 By Harmony Klingenmeyer - April 8, 2021