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Following Jesus

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34)

The world of the disciples must have seemed like it was spinning out of control when Jesus was arrested and brought before the religious leaders. Some things are out of our control, but they are not outside the control of God. He seemed powerless and even pitiable, but things are not always what they seem. Then Jesus appeared before Pilate. Here is the judge of all the earth standing before an earthly judge. Remember when others judge you that Jesus is standing beside you. It is embarrassing when people put us down and condemn us in front of others. It is humiliating to be misunderstood and ridiculed. Sometimes we are treated unfairly. I wonder what Jesus thought of those who mocked him and put a crown of thorns on his head. I think I would have been afraid and angry. If I had superpowers, I might have zapped them! Christ could have stopped them, but he was focused on the bigger picture and submitted silently to their taunts. When we feel we are being treated unfairly, we should remember Jesus was treated unjustly. He has walked this road ahead of us. Jesus carried his cross through the crowded streets. Along the way, he met Simon, who helped to carry his cross, and he also met the women who were weeping. He could have cursed the whole world for the way he was being treated, but he did not. We must not become bitter and curse the world. Is our cross too heavy? God will send help to bear the load. Even in the midst of great trouble, we will find the loving faces of those who weep for us. God sent his only Son to bear our burdens on that tree at Calvary.

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