The sacrificial example of Christ and the high calling to follow in His steps is foreign to many because the cross of Christ, His bloody death and glorious resurrection has not written His sacrifice upon the fleshy tables of their hearts. Their faith is too shallow; their faith is dead; but in order for their faith to be a living faith, it needs to be as deep as the nails which pierced Jesus’ hands and feet.
The nails which fastened Christ to the cross, through faith, ought to have fastened all of our worldly, carnal, vain and ungodly desires to His cross; so that when He died, our desires for all these things died with Him; that when He was raised from the dead, even so we also walk in newness of life through faith in Him. His holy passion for us ought to have kindled an uncompromising devotion to Him. He died upon that cross for our sins, the just for the unjust. Many who claim to be born again cannot say with the Christ, “I delight to do Thy will o my God; yea, Thy law if within my heart”. Many do not realize that following Jesus requires both hands; that we cannot walk hand in hand with the nail pierced Christ while enjoying the things of the world for which His hands were pierced. We cannot be in love with our Savior and relish the things of the world for which He was crucified. If our feet were pierced with His they would not be leading us down the broad path of vain selfish pleasures which have nothing to do with His plans. If our hands were nailed together with His we would never use them to labor for anything of the world for which His hands were nailed to the cross. The pain He experienced for us, through faith, ought to have mortified within us all carnal affections for which His sufferings atoned. The rending of His flesh from the Roman scourge ought to have rent in sunder all fleshly ambitions. If we were truly crucified together with Him and dead, then all of our desires for selfish and vain pleasures would be dead also; we would be new creatures in reality: alive to His holy purposes, will and mind alone. Christ’s unreasonable service to us will have won our reasonable service to Him. For the one who truly believes in Christ crucified, nothing will be sweeter to him than the commandments of Christ. For His crucifixion has placed His law within his heart and sealed it with His holy blood. He can say with the psalmist, “For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell” (Psalm 86:13), and, “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12)