Though the entire book greatly pressed my soul, one small passage on the weight of the cross from L.E. Maxwell’s book Crowded to Christ, made me stop in my tracks.
LE Maxwell, the author, writes:
While God’s commands are, of course, all impossible to the life of nature, these same commands are a delight to “whatsoever is begotten of God.” If my brother’s weight seems heavy, and if the command to love him is still grievous, then I lack the “begotten” life. I still have an argument with God. I do not want to love the brother. The Cross of Christ must therefore make a new inroad into my self-life. Its cutting and killing power must reach me. The law of love can operate only through “whatsoever is begotten,” only where “I” have been crucified. The only reason it is still difficult to love that neighbor or that enemy is that the Cross has been denied its fresh and death-dealing application to the natural life. Many folks speak of the Cross of Christ being heavy, and of having to bear their cruel and heavy cross; but the Cross is heavy only to that which refuses to die. Christ’s yoke is easy; His burden is light. Such resurrection life and love, however, follow the death-dealing power of the Cross. “His Cross,” says Samuel Rutherford, “is the sweetest burden that ever I bare: it is such a burden as wings are to a bird, or sails to a ship, to carry me forward to my harbor.” When Christ lives in me His own mighty and “yet-not-I” kind of life, then the impossible law of love will be easily and gloriously filled to the full.
The cross is not meant to be heavy!
What a profound thought. As Maxwell points out, the cross is only heavy when our flesh (the old man/sinful nature) is not hanging upon it.
When our flesh is crucified, it is hung (carried) upon the cross.
If I am in Christ and He in me, it is not I who live but Christ who lives in me (see Galatians 2.20). His yoke is easy and his burden light.
If He is sourcing my life, all the weight is upon Him; I merely rest and depend upon His strength.
If I find the cross heavy it is because I have not died upon it. If I struggle beneath it, it is because I, not Christ, am attempting to live my life in my own strength and power.
And as I have proven time and time again, I cannot live the impossible life called Christianity that He has called us to—only He can live and produce this life in and through me.
Will I reckon myself dead, live in full and total surrender, and depend upon Him every moment of every day?
This is the entry-level of what it means to be a Christian.
How heavy is the cross you cling to?