Cancelled // Mark 8:36

The cross in the graphic below is one I keep on my desk. It’s called a clutching cross and is ergonomically designed to fit well in the hand. I have used it during funerals, preaching difficult messages, or just times when I need to feel something that connects me to Jesus. I cannot help but think of how Jesus said that to be His disciple means we have to take up our cross to follow Him. That passage really bothered me when I was younger. It bothers me still, but in a different way. This cancel culture in which we live can make it difficult to speak up and out for Jesus. I have personally observed it and experienced it, too. It feels awful and has left me second-guessing myself.

I heard a teacher talk about this just last week, asking if his followers were brave enough to be cultural pariahs for Jesus. I have said something similar in the past by mentioning how Jesus was saying we had to be willing to become cultural criminals to follow Him. Oh, how right He was! I know I want to be bold enough, but regret and fret the times I wasn’t and am not. There is good news, though, because of what happened when Jesus was brave enough to carry the cross, clutching it to slay the power of sin over you and me. Colossians 1:14 says, “For in the Son all our sins are canceled and we have the release of redemption through his very blood” (TPT).

Friends, God is in the cancelling business…He cancels your sin, redeems you through Jesus’ blood, and restores you to help make His love known to others. Yes, this takes courage, but it’s always worth it. Denying self points us to the places where we feel most vulnerable. It is an arduous journey at times for sure. Grabbing hold of something like a clutching cross can remind us that when we take hold of Jesus, He has already taken hold of us. So let’s acknowledge those areas that reveal our vulnerability, deny their power over us, proclaim God’s love in Jesus, and know our sin is cancelled!