Loving the Cross or the Curse?

There is a story I read about twenty six Christians who were tried and found guilty. They were sentenced to die for their believe in Christ. They marched to the point where the crosses made for them stood. This was in Kyoto Japan. 

Jesus on the cross

Ibaragi Kun was the youngest amongst all the Christians. Seeing this, an official took him aside and asked him to recant his faith to save his life. Kun refused and instead, tried to invite the officer to Christianity.

The officer was startled even more when after his refusal to join Kun’s faith, Kun asked him to show which cross he was to be crucified on. The officer pointed to the smallest of the twenty six crosses. Kun ran to the cross, knelt before it and embraced it. When the soldiers began to nail his hands and feet to the cross, he did not cry out in pain but took on courage. All this was on November 23, 1596.

In Genesis 4:11, we read that "..now art thou cursed..." This had been the curse on man up until the second generation of the earth - Cain. His parents had in their own time received a portion of curses. By birthing children, these curses were transferred and that made all men cursed as sinners.

Also, Galatians 3:13 reads that cursed is any man who hangs on a tree. It becomes clearer seeing that the tree is shaped into a cross before someone is hung on it. Usually, criminals are hung on the cross. Jesus, the son of God here made himself a curse to help us carry our curses and nail them to the cross which he carried on his own according to John 19:17, and Colossians 2:14-15

By joining all of these, we understand that man was cursed and for that reason, Jesus had to become a curse to help man carry his curses and nail them unto the cross as Colossians 1:20 puts it. As a result, Mark 10:34 tells man to "take up his cross and follow me..." (See Matthew 10:38, Luke 9:23; 14:27)

We can only love the cross and not the curse. This is why believers need to take up our crosses and follow after Jesus' leading. When we do this, "...there shall be no more curse" ( Revelations 22:3) but only blessings.

Story adapted from Voice of Martyrs Ministries, 365 Day Persecution Stories Devotional

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