Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself… —I Samuel 15:12

And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel. —I Samuel 15:35

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. —I Samuel 16:7

And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. —Luke 14:27

Carrying your cross… what does that mean? The cross was a terrible execution instrument for criminals and yet this was the primary work Jesus came to accomplish. He was totally selfless as He took our punishment, penalty, sorrows and griefs at the cross (Isaiah 53).

Unlike the selfish King Saul mentioned above whose rebellion and disobedience to the Lord “was as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols” (I Samuel 15:23), Jesus in perfect obedience carried out His Father’s will. He is the perfect King of Israel and of all Creation. His holy heart knew no sin and unlike Saul who was tall and handsome, Jesus outwardly was of common appearance. People were not drawn to Him because of His looks, but because of His perfect character as the Son of God.

Carrying your cross includes selflessness and self denial, being considered criminal and worthless from the world’s perspective, considered fools, weak, dishonored, hungry, thirsty, raggedy, brutally treated, homeless, cursed, persecuted, slandered, consider the scum and garbage of the world. Any of that in your own life? Paul said of him and his companions that “We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment” (I Corinthians 4:10-13).

The Lord regretted that He had made Saul king. He was a selfish, disobedience and rebellious person. Jesus on the other hand was selfless, obedient and compliant to all His Father desired of Him in the cross— even experiencing the brutal death He died and as the perfect Lamb of God, eliminating the eternal sin debt for all who call on His Name (Romans 10:13).

Today, being Good Friday, let us rejoice in God’s Perfect Kingship and the Perfect, Spotless and Blameless Lamb of God who loved us and gave His life for us! Yes, rejoice!

Dear Father, I am so thankful that I can love You because You first love me. Thank You for that love through Your Perfect Lamb, Your Son. May I love Him and out of grateful heart, live for Him in the power of Your Holy Spirit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzgY2LIaPGA

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