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Bible Readings: Matthew 27:1-54; Psalm 22:1-11

From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).    Matthew 27:45-46

Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.  
Psalm 22:11


In their book Invitation to a Journey, M. Robert Mulholland and Ruth Haley Barton describe the reality of what it means to “take up our cross” in our daily lives:

Sometimes we suffer under the illusion that our incompleteness, our brokenness, our deadness is something like a sweater that we can easily unbutton and slip off. It is not that easy. Our brokenness is us…. “we have met the enemy and he is us.” This is what Jesus indicates when he speaks about losing yourself.

That part of you which has not yet been formed in the image of Christ is not simply a thing in you—it is an essential part of who you are. This is what Jesus is pointing to when he calls us to take up our cross.

Our cross is not that cantankerous person we have to deal with day by day. Our cross is not the employer we just can’t get along with. Our cross is not that neighbor or work colleague who cuts across the grain in every single time of relationship.

Nor is our cross the difficulties and infirmities that the flow of life brings to us beyond our control. Our cross is the point of our unlikeness to the image of Christ, where we must die to self in order to be raised by God into wholeness of life in the image of Christ right there at that point.


“It is finished.” With those words, You declared victory. Sin, death, and evil lost their power. In Jesus, we have won! But often we deny Your victory. We allow sin, evil, and death to reign as if we do not have a Savior. When challenged in our faith, we throw up our hands in defeat. We fail to rely on You. Lord, we are sorry for our failures. Cause us to trust Your words and to stand firm in Your victory. Amen.