We cannot embrace the resurrected Christ without embracing His cross. We cannot have His glory without His sacrifices. We cannot become heirs of His inheritance without first bowing ourselves and yielding to His losses. If we want all of Him, we must receive the unlovely part of “all” as well as the glory. Death came before glorification. Those who identify themselves in Christ most clearly are those who race to the cross because in the wounds there is healing.
I take O cross thy shadow for my abiding place; I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face. Content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss, my sinful self, my only shame, my glory all the cross
Andrew Murray wrote that the death and life of Christ are inseparable. How real is Christianity without sacrifice? For it is sacrifice that made Christianity exist at all. Dear believer, look into your heart today. Have you felt loss and been privileged to call it gain? For this is what Jesus did. Counting His life worth nothing in comparison to the lives of fallen sinful mankind, He laid it down willingly and invites us – or rather commands us – to follow in His steps for the sake of a lost and dying world.
No, you cannot call yourself His follower, nor say you abide in Him until you “love that old cross, where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain. Cherish the old rugged cross, til at last your trophies you lay down. Cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it some day for a crown.” It is the only object for which Christ will give us a crown instead.