Shanklin United Reformed Church

High Street, Shanklin, Isle of Wight. PO37 6LA
Registered Charity No. 1130459

A member of the Evangelical Alliance

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The Minister's Monthly Message

The View From Number 10 (Dracaena Gardens, Shanklin that is!! J)

The Way of the Cross

As we journey towards Easter, we must try to focus on the path that Jesus trod as he prepared to lay down his life for the world. We are exploring the theme of discipleship over these weeks, and I will leading some devotional studies at Tuesday Bible bite based on a booklet by the late Rob Frost – The Way of the Cross. This will help us study some of the key aspects of what it is to follow Jesus.

My daily readings have been in Galatians over recent days and one well-known verse jumped off the page which perhaps sums up what our focus should be in this season of Lent:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 2:20

As I ponder these challenging words, I must ask myself - have I truly died to the world and all it stands for? Is my life now hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3). Paul says there that we as believers have been raised with Christ. We now live on another plain entirely and so should have died to worldly priorities. He urges the Colossian church – Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

As we look to the cross of Jesus and see the amazing grace of God flowing out to us, we are encouraged to discover what it is to live by faith not by sight; to put our faith in Jesus and his death and resurrection. As we begin to understand the fullness of what God has done, it should completely reshape our priorities.

The way of the cross is one of self-denial as we look to Jesus who gave it all for us. He came to save us, and he calls us to take up our cross and to follow in his footsteps. The writer to the Hebrews calls us to fix our eyes on Jesus who went all the way to the cross for us – “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (12:3).

It can be a tough road and sadly many do give up or are lured to take an easier deceptive path. Jesus warned about this. We need one another and the encouragement and support of fellow pilgrims as we journey together on the way of the cross. It may seem unattractive at times, but it is truly the path to life. If we want to share in the glory of his resurrection, we must also be willing to partake in suffering with and for Jesus (Rom 8:17). Many pay a heavy price for this around the world today.

God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son. People of every tribe and tongue were in view as the Jewish Messiah met his end at the hands of the Romans, after rejection by God’s people and the temple authorities. From the time of Abraham, it was always God’s intention to bless the nations of the world. The coming of Jesus and his death are the lynchpin in that plan.

You and I were on God’s heart as Jesus died on the cross.

May we all take time this month to prepare for “the most sacred event in the Christian calendar”, as Rob Frost describes Good Friday. Let us step out of the rat race and press into the Lord and take a while to pause and rest in the presence of the living God as we reflect on the wondrous cross. This is the symbol of the Christian faith and serves as a constant reminder of the price that was paid to set us free from sin and set us on the path to abundant life. 

We will be called to make sacrifices and to put others first as our lives are shaped and moulded to reflect the image of our Saviour and Lord. It may feel an upward struggle at times, but he gives us his Spirit to equip and empower us. Let’s journey on together and not be ashamed of the cross, which is a symbol of both death and new life.

With my very best wishes for this Holy season

Page Last Updated 22 February 2024

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