"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
"And He bearing His cross."—John 19:17.
When did Jesus bear the cross? Not that moment alone,
surely, when the bitter tree was placed on His shoulders, on the way to
Golgotha. Its vision may be said to have risen before Him in His infant dreams
in Bethlehem's cradle; there, rather, its reality began; and He ceased not to
carry it, until his work was finished, and the victory won! A cloud of
old, hovered over the mercy seat in the tabernacle and temple. So it was with
the Great Antitype—the living Mercy-seat—He had ever a cloud of woe hanging
over Him. "He carried our sorrows."
Reader! dwell much and often under the shadow of your
Lord's cross, and it will lead you to think lightly of your own! If He
gave utterance to not one murmuring word, can you complain? "If we were deeper
students of His bitter anguish, we would think less of the ripplings of our
waves, amid His horrible tempest"—(Evans.) The saint's cross assumes
many and diverse shapes. Sometimes it is the bitter trial, the crushing pang
of bereavement, desolate households, and aching hearts. Sometimes it is the
crucifixion of sin, the determined battling with "lusts that war against the
soul." Sometimes it is the resistance of the evil maxims and practices of a
lying world—vindicating the honor of Christ, in the midst, it may be, of
taunt, and ridicule, and shame. And as there are different crosses so there
are different ways of bearing them. To some, God says, "Put your shoulder to
the burden; lift it up, and bear it on; work, and toil, and labor!" To others,
He says, "Be still, bear it, and suffer!"
Believer! your cross may be hard to endure, it may involve
deep struggles—tears by day, watchings by night; bear it meekly, patiently
justifying God's wisdom in laying it on. Rejoice in the assurance that He
gives not one atom more of earthly trial than He sees to be really needful;
not one unnecessary thorn pierces your feet. In the very bearing of the cross
for His sake there are mighty compensations. What new views of your Savior's
love! His truth, His promises His sustaining grace, His sufferings, His glory!
What new filial nearness; increased delight in prayer; in inner sunshine when
it is darkest without! The waves cover you, but underneath them all, are "the
Do not look out for a situation without crosses. Be
not over anxious about "smooth paths,"—leaving your God, as Orpha did Naomi,
just when the cross requires to be carried. Immoderate earthly
enjoyments—unbroken earthly prosperity—write upon these "Beware!"—You
may live to see them become your greatest trials!
Remember the old saying, "No cross, no crown." The sun of
the saint's life generally struggles through "weeping clouds." One of the
loveliest passages of Scripture is that in which the portals of heaven being
opened, we overhear this dialogue between two ransomed ones—"And one of the
elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white
robes, and where came they? And I said unto him, Sir, you know. And he said to
me, These are they which came out of great tribulation!"
"Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind."