Every Easter, many dazzlingly eloquent words are written and spoken about Christâ€™s â€śPassionâ€ť â€“ a singular historical event, graphically portrayed in films like â€śThe Passion of the Christ,â€ť â€śJesus of Nazarethâ€ť and others, including most recently the History Channelâ€™s miniseries â€śThe Bible.â€ť That these screen depictions serve to powerfully rekindle many believersâ€™ gratitude for what Jesus endured for their sakes is undeniable. But Iâ€™ve always wondered, how often does that appreciation for Christâ€™s sacrifice ignite a fire in the belly of believers to â€śtake up the crossâ€ť themselves?
But first things first. What in the world does â€śtaking up your crossâ€ť really mean?
In ages past, Christians dwelt a lot more on the concept of taking up the â€ścrossâ€ť than they do these days. Today, the phrase â€śitâ€™s my cross to bearâ€ť is usually a self-congratulatory reference to the fact that we have to put up with a...
"The Post Reformation pastors and theologians of the day, following the Reformers, abolished Easter, among other things. In June 1647, England Parliament, headed by the Puritans at Westminster, passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays: â€śForasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holy-days, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy-days, be no longer observed as festivals; any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise not withstanding.â€ť (Daniel Neal, The History of the Puritans (London, 1837; rpt. Minneapolis: Klock , p. 45)." (Dr C M McMahon)