The Execution Stake in Texas
On our way back from Phoenix, Boaz and I just drove past the biggest cross in the western hemisphere. Well at least it used to be. Its 190 feet tall but apparently a 198 foot cross has been recently constructed in Illinois. Here‚Äôs a picture of it.
Anyway, it got me thinking about the Master‚Äôs words in Luke 9:
And he said to them all, ‚ÄúIf any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.‚ÄĚ (Luke 9:23-24)
Obviously cross here does not refer to literally dying on a cross but is the idea of a self sacrificing life for the Kingdom of Heaven. In rabbinic literature the idiom of crucifixion is used to illustrate dedication to Torah. Here‚Äôs an example:
"'Of them that love Me and keep My commandments,' refers to those who dwell in the Land of Israel and risk their lives for the sake of the commandments. ‚ÄėWhy are you being led out to be decapitated?' 'Because I circumcised my son to be an Israelite.' 'Why are you being led out to be burned?' 'Because I read the Torah.' 'Why are you being led out to be crucified?' 'Because I ate the unleavened bread.'" (Mekhilta on Exodus 20:6)
The Master asks us to give up our lives for him and in essence this is the same thing the Sages are saying about the Torah. After all Yeshua is the living Torah.
PS Sorry about the title. A little Messianic Judaism PC for ya‚Äôll
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