Imagine what it would be like if you had a hover board but your were told to walk everywhere you went. Imagine that you could afford the penthouse in the fanciest hotels but you were assigned to sleep on the ground in the open every night. Imagine that you had carte blanche access to the finest of restaurants but your meals were always bread and water and what scraps you were able to beg. Imagine that you were the most eligible man or the most beautiful woman in the world but that you were told to live a celibate life. Imagine that you had the power to heal the sick, even to raise the dead, just by your command, but you were forbidden to use that power to save yourself from a death of shame and agony.
That is the cross the Jesus bore every day of his earthly life. He did that for you and for me, that we might see the path to follow to the life eternal that He gained with that cross. He had the power to create or to destroy the universe but He never used it for His own benefit. He always used it as He was instructed by God to benefit others. The talents, the wealth, the power that we mere humans have are nothing compared to those of the son of God. Isn’t it so, then, that the sacrifices we must make to subject our talents and wealth and power to God’s control are minimal compared to what Jesus gave up, every day, for us?
Do we thank Jesus for His gift, the opportunity to join Him in paradise? Do we remember His instruction of how to claim that gift – to take up our own crosses, every day, and to follow Him? Do we think that He is asking us to do for Him anything that He has not already done for us? What makes us think that He, the son of God, should have lived as humbly and generously as He did but that we, the sons and daughters of imperfect humans, deserve lives of pleasure and privilege?