July 21, 2012 | 0 comments
"He saith to the sick of the palsy... Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thine house."—Mark 2:10,11
This man had been a paralytic, brought to Jesus on a bed. His bed was his cross, and his cross had weighed him down. But when he met Jesus, if we are listening, the Lord commanded Him to take up that cross, and carry it home. One would have thought that a man who had just been released of his cross would want to run from it. Yet Christ would have it another way. He was told to embrace the emblem of his former pain, “Take up thy bed, go into thy house”.
So it is with the Christian. He will not scorn the sorrow from which he has been freed. He will not believe that his pain was a loss of time. He will say, "I have been freed from my cross today because it is no longer my portion today; but it was my portion yesterday." And because he feels that the cross was good for his yesterday, he will take it up tenderly into his house and keep it there, as a memory.
That is the difference between Christ and the world's comforters. They, as well as He, profess to lift you from your sorrow. The world's remedy is the gospel of extrication; to cast your cross into the sea. But Christ's is the gospel of vindication; He defends your cross in the very act of removing it. To take up the bed on which you were lying and carry it home; to make it a part of your furniture, to claim it as an item of your greatest riches. To triumph in Christ is not simply the abolition of pain but the transformation of it. Not merely the death of sorrow, but the turning of sorrow into joy. Others promise instead of a cross, a crown. With Christ, the cross is the crown. Others may promise to remove all obstacles from your path. But with Christ, the crooked things themselves are to be made straight, and the rough places themselves are to become plain. Others may say, "Arise, and forget thy bed" but Christ says, "Arise, take up thy bed and go into thine house."
Your servant in Christ,
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