Before the cross comes surrender. Jesus did not go to the cross a helpless, hapless victim of a Roman, military regime or even of a conniving, religious system. He was not crucified as the result of a failed coup or of a failed, Messianic experiment.
He surrendered. He yielded His will. He died in the garden before He died at Golgotha. His will let go before His Spirit was surrendered to the Father.
It is the will with which we must contend. If we are going to follow in the steps of Jesus in life, we are going to have to nail our will, our flesh to the cross first. It may not be the end result of a bloody death as Jesus experienced. It may be expressed in a willingness to stay in a difficult marriage, or in a tough job, or to face the rigors of cancer surgery or chemotherapy. It may be to say YES to a mission appointment, or to allow our children to go to the mission field and spend their lives there for the Gospel.
Or it may be simply to say, “Father, if it is Your will that I die, then I die in you.”
How we surrender will be customized to us. There are elements of our will that still stand in defiance of God. We must… kill it. Surrender it. Yield it. Give it up.
And when we do, we will begin to understand how to live… BEFORE THE CROSS.
FOR REFLECTION: I have been crucified with Christ…. Galatians 2:20
FOR MEDITATION: Can you today, sing “All to Jesus, I surrender; all to Him I freely give?” That must be our theme. That is where we will truly find life.