“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 11:24)
Prayer Reflections for April 7- a Good Friday Prayer
“Human nature wants to indulge self, not deny self. Death to self is always terrible, and if we expect it to be a pleasant or mild experience, we will often be disillusioned. Death to self is the radical command of the Christian life. To take up your cross meant one thing: you were going to a certain death, and your only hope was in resurrection power.” (David Guzik, Enduring Word Commentary)
Today is Good Friday, which means because of hindsight we know that the glorious day of Christ’s resurrection will be celebrated in just two more days. Sometimes it is easy to skip past Friday and jump straight to Easter Sunday, knowing all the good that is coming.
But Jesus didn’t simply die to save us from our sins. When Jesus was predicting His death to the disciples in Matthew 11:21-25, He also told disciples that they must do the same thing.
They were most likely in enough shock that Jesus was going to die on a cross, but now He was saying everyone must do the same thing?!
It was a bold move to make.
Jesus had all the power to stop the crucifixion, but He didn’t. This is because Jesus knew the power didn’t lie in saving Himself from being crucified- the power lies in the miracle of the Resurrection.
The same way goes when we decide to live a life of faith. So often we have to follow Jesus instead of the way of the world, and it won’t make sense to others. We have to carry weights that we normally wouldn’t carry. But Jesus told us if we went to Him, He would make our burden light. He didn’t say He wouldn’t give us burdens, but He would make them light.
So as we process Good Friday today, and the terrible death Jesus went through, let us be reminded that we must carry the cross like He did, but it will never be as heavy as His was because He carried the sins of the world on that day.
A Good Friday Prayer
Dear God, I cannot fathom the pain that Jesus experienced on that Good Friday. May I make sure that I don’t take it for granted- help me to take up the cross too (Matthew 11:24) and share the miracle of Easter with the world, no matter what anyone says. Amen.
Jessie Synan is a Ph.D. student in Bible Exposition who helps other women find their prayer focus in a distracting world. She went from her ADHD interfering with her prayer life to finding her own unique rhythms for prayer and encouraging other women to do the same. She is the founder of Pray With Confidence, which has helped over 10,000 women focus on prayer through the real and vulnerable advice she gives to those on her email list when they sign up for the free guide “How to pray [when you can’t focus.]”
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