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Taking Up Your Cross Is Not A Way Of Life, It’s A Way Of Death. (via Chad Bird)

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Jesus is not a life coach. He’s not providing an example to follow, or teaching techniques to get us through the day or tough situations.
What he invites us to do is die with him.

From Chad Bird:

Likewise, to take up our cross daily doesn’t mean to shoulder our personal cares and concerns. Jesus isn’t telling us merely to pick up our sicknesses, temptations, and other “crosses” of life and trudge along behind him. Immediately before he says this, our Lord predicts his upcoming passion. “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Luke 9:22). Right on the heels of this, he says to take up our crosses daily and follow him (v.23). In other words, Christ bids us follow him to death and the grave. That’s what crosses are for, after all: to kill people. A hangman’s noose isn’t there just to chafe people’s necks in uncomfortable ways; an electric chair doesn’t simply jolt our bodies with stress. They kill. So too the cross, in Roman society, was an instrument with a singular purpose: executing people. To take up our crosses daily is to suffer many things with Jesus, be rejected with him, be killed with him, and on the third day be raised with him to newness of life.
To be a disciple of Jesus, to follow him instead of our hearts, necessitates our complete incorporation into him.

Chad Bird, Upside-Down Spirituality: The Nine Essential Failures Of A Faithful Life, Baker, 2019, pgs 76-77.

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