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Season of the Cross

“When God was handing out brains, you thought he said ‘trains,’ and you only got one track.” That pretty much sums me up. When I get something on my mind, I’m stuck on it, until something else grabs my attention, which doesn’t take… hold on, I think I see a squirrel. Okay, so maybe I have trouble focusing, from time to time, but I really do have a one-track mind. Of course, that’s not always a bad thing, is it? Having a one-track mind can really come in handy during a season like this—the Season of the Cross. This time leading up to Easter is a time for us to get refocused on the cross, so that we can… Re-examine our lives in light of the cross. The cross is God’s way of saying, “You may not think sin is a big deal, but I do. You may wish I could overlook sin, but I can’t. You may think the whole concept of sin is old-fashioned, but I don’t. My Son suffered, bled, and died for your sin.” In light of the cross, what sinful attitudes and behaviors do we need to cut out of our lives? In light of the cross, what spiritual practices do we need to incorporate into our lives, so that we can cultivate holiness and grow in Christ-likeness? As we refocus on the cross, let’s re-examine our lives in light of the cross and…

Re-center our lives around the cross. The centerpiece of following Jesus is picking up a cross: “Whoever wants to follow Me must say no to themselves; they must pick up their cross every day and follow me” (Lk 9:23). Some theologians call this “cruciform living” or “living a cross-shaped life.” The cross is both the instrument God used to atone for our sins and the example God calls us to follow. Most of us know John 3:16 by heart, but there’s another John 3:16 that’s less familiar. It’s First John 3:16, which says, “We know and, to some extent realize, the love of God for us because Christ expressed it in laying down his life for us. We must in turn express our love by laying down our lives for those who are our brothers and sisters.” Just as the love of God is characterized by Jesus’ death on the cross, God’s will is that this cruciform love would transform us and, then, flow through us to others. Between now and Easter Sunday, let’s try to have a one-track mind and stay focused on the cross. We’re all busy. We’re all headed in several different directions at once. Before we know it, Easter will be here, and we’ll be celebrating the greatest single event in human history—the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But between now and then, let’s stay focused on the cross.

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