Way of the Cross, Way of the Crown
Romans 12:1: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
One of the most difficult concepts taught and practiced in Christianity is “dying to self.” That is opposite of what our flesh wants. In fact, we would actually prefer everyone around us to die to themselves, so they will then conform to our wishes.
Now, wait just a minute . . . isn’t the very term, “living sacrifice,” an oxymoron? A sacrifice gets on the altar and dies, right? How can a sacrifice stay alive and still continue to be a sacrifice?
The only way this process can occur is by the sacrifice actually living on the altar, alive, but prepared to die. Always present in the state of offering, but continuing to live and serve as the sacrifice. So, we place our lives on God’s altar and then stay there and in “view of God’s mercy,” is the only way this lifestyle is even possible.
Eugene Peterson, pastor, professor, and creator of The Message Bible makes this statement, “The way of the Crown is the way of the Cross.” Jesus had to leave His Crown to redeem us by the way of the Cross. He then returned to His rightful place over Heaven and Earth as King.
For us as believers, we must take off our self-proclaimed “crown” that we wear to show that we are the king of our own life and go the way of the cross, agreeing that He is indeed the King of all, and now the King of our heart. To live as a sacrifice, ready to do His will moment by moment. Herein, as the Scripture states, lies true worship.
As guys, we don’t like submitting or giving in. We like winning and whupping. But when we continue to be our own king, we start to lose and get whupped ourselves. Our pride wrecks relationships, partnerships, and from being all we were created to be.
So, who’s wearing your crown? You can, you know. God will let you. It will just affect your eternity and the quality of life here. Maybe you’re reading this and you know you have on your own crown, but you also know you aren’t really the king of anything. In fact, your kingdom is crumbling around you. Here’s the great news. Your Creator has done everything required to save you from Hell, get you to Heaven, and give you true freedom here and now. You can pray . . .
Lord Jesus, I want to transfer the ownership of my life to You. I need You to save me and take over. Today, I choose to crawl up on Your altar and lay my life down before You. Please forgive me for being my own king. I ask you to be the King of my life from this day forward. I want to follow You, forever.
Maybe you would say, “Robert, I’ve prayed that prayer before, but I have been depending on myself and running the show for quite a while now. I need to lay my life back on the altar and get my life right with the real King.
Father, I’m headed back down the road toward You. I want to come home and get back to where You want me. Forgive me for taking over and trying to live life without You. Run the show now, God. Take my life. I want to follow You, my King.
For each of us today, regardless of our level of maturity in Christ, the way to walk straight today is to live on the altar, remain a living sacrifice. Go the way of the Cross in order to know the way of the Crown.
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