Sunday, October 18, 2015

Taking up our cross; nail in a holy or sure place

The word “cross” is used in different ways in the scriptures.

The Savior was passively lifted up upon the cross


“And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world” (1 Nephi 11:33).

“And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil” (3 Nephi 27:14).

There is a figurative usage as well. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:13-4).

Actively crossing ourselves in certain things


“Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in these things” (Alma 39:9).

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary notes that one definition of the verb “to cross” is “to counteract or contravene; to hinder by authority; to stop.”

Actively enduring the crosses of the world; suffering the Savior’s cross


“But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever” (2 Nephi 9:18).

“Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world” (Jacob 1:8).

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary notes that one definition of the noun “cross” is “any thing that thwarts, obstructs, or perplexes; hindrance; vexation; misfortune; opposition; trial of patience.”

Actively taking up our cross


“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38).

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24-5; see also Mark 8:34-5).

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me” (Mark 10:21).

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

“And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).

“For it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell” (3 Nephi 12:30).

“And he that will not take up his cross and follow me, and keep my commandments, the same shall not be saved” (D&C 56:2).

Nail in a holy or sure place


“And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage” (Ezra 9:8).

“And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off” (Isaiah 22:22-5).

Symbolically speaking, we can take up our own cross and be nailed to it. However, the weight of our carnality (as opposed to spirituality) could cause the nails to tear through us, resulting in our falling from the cross.