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May 29, 2022

The Cross Is Not a Suffering but a Termination

1Cor 1:18 For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Gal 2: 20 I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Many Christians have a misunderstanding concerning the cross. They think that to take up the cross is to suffer hardship. This was my concept more than forty years ago. I told others that the difficulties in their environment were a cross to them. For example, if your husband or wife is troubling you, that is a cross. But when the Lord Jesus speaks of taking up the cross, He does not mean this. He means that we should apply the cross to our living. The real significance of the cross is not suffering--it is termination. Crucifixion, therefore, equals death, termination. For us to take up the cross is for us to be terminated. I wish to emphasize the fact that the cross is for termination, not for suffering. Sometimes believers are not helped by suffering. I have known certain persons who suffered a great deal with the result that they became strongly self-willed. [They can also become complaining and bitter] . The concept that the cross is a matter of suffering is contrary to the revelation of the Lord's word in 8:34. Here the Lord speaks of denying the self. To deny the self is to give it up; it is not to keep the self so that it may suffer. Taking up the cross is not a matter of suffering. Instead, it is a matter of applying to our life what Christ has done on the cross to terminate us. Therefore, to take up the cross is to apply this termination to ourselves. Day by day we need to apply such a termination. If we do this, we shall realize not that we are suffering, but that we are terminated, finished, put to an end. (c) Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Mark, pp. 221-222. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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Life-study of Mark