To help us journey with Jesus towards the cross, each day this week I will post a scripture to read, a face from the journey of the cross on which to reflect, a prayer to pray, and a practice or suggested discipline to carry out.
Read the Scriptures:
Reflect on a Face of the Cross:
Brash, bold, confident Peter froze as soon as the sounds of violence began. He had followed the chained and handcuffed Jesus all the way to the high priest’s courtyard and inched as close as he could to the trial inside. And although it’s not clear what Peter heard from his fireside position, we know that whatever it was must have put ice in his veins. For once the sounds of Jesus’ abuse started, the denials of even knowing his Lord came quickly – once, twice, three times – before he even had time to think.
Would we have fled from the pain of the cross like Peter? Would we have denied Christ by the smoking fire in the courtyard of the high priest, with sounds of the beatings and blows of our Lord echoing throughout the darkness below? Perhaps.
But most of us flee every day. We look at the cross in the fullness of its power and pain and say, “No thank you. I’ll take the easy way out.” Yet daily we are to pick up our cross and follow Him, no matter where the path of Passion leads. Daily we are to die to self and rise to walk in the life only Christ can give.
Tradition has it that Peter died a martyr’s death by crucifixion – upside down. So somewhere between Jesus’ crucifixion and his own, Peter overcame his fear of suffering and pain. And like Peter, we must eventually come to the place of saying, “Yes, Lord. I have shirked the pain before, but I am willing to die every day from here on out. No matter the cost, I want to follow You.”
The thought of suffering for You scares us; we want to avoid pain at all costs. Yet in spite of ourselves, give us a desire to walk Your road, no matter the obstacles or the persecution in the way. We want to follow You.
In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.
Instead of eating lunch today, consider using that hour to spend with the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to show you what fears hinder you from walking the road of the cross. Let Him show you how to let go and walk in the freedom and secure love that comes from following Christ.
For more encouragement throughout the week, you can find me on Instagram, @baker.susannah.