Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.
Mark lists ten things that were to happen to our Saviour, the Lord Jesus.
He will “suffer, be rejected, be killed, rise again, be betrayed, be condemned, be handed over to the Gentiles, be mocked, be spit upon, and be flogged”,
Mark 8:31-33, 9:30-32, 10:32-34.
Above is the view from my study window to the Atlantic Ocean.
These sufferings were all in our Lord’s teaching to his disciples about what it will mean to be a follower of Jesus. It was tough, straight talking. The rejection of Jesus began immediately, when Peter said to him, “Never, Lord”, Matthew 16:22.
Sadly, we disciples often think we know better than Jesus. It is Satan's deceptive idea that there will be no suffering by or for the Messiah, Mark 8:33.
“After his first prediction of his impending suffering, Jesus laid down the requirements for those who wanted to be members of the Kingdom, as true followers of the Messiah. He may have needed to do this because many were beginning to follow him hoping for material gain. He told a crowd and his disciples that it is necessary to … surrender one’s will and life to God’s purposes and to do what God wants. One must also take up one’s own cross, that is, be prepared to suffer for the cause of the Messiah”.
Mark 8:34 speaks with clarity. To truly call Jesus our Lord, we “must deny self, … take up our cross … and follow him”. Self is always a dangerous stumbling block to genuine Christian discipleship. We get in our own way.
This is why our Lord Jesus himself prayed, what C.H. Spurgeon called, “the real Lord’s Prayer”, Matthew 26:39. “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will”. His positive relationship brought commitment.
A north African was the first man to carry the cross for (possibly with) Jesus, Mark 15:21. He only carried the wood, not the load. The load was the sin of the world, which only the Lord Jesus could carry. In his own fully human body, completely drinking the cup of the wrath of God the Father, God the Son there became “an atoning sacrifice for our sins”, 1 John 4:10, when “they crucified him” on Golgotha, Mark 15:24.
Jesus was alienated from (“forsaken” by Mark 15:34) the Father when he accepted the world’s sin onto himself. God was divided from God through a pre-planned and fully agreed act of substitution. This isolation allowed his mediation.
“God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witness of the fact”, Acts 2:32. Jesus’ crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection were steps into “his glory”, Luke 24:27. Jesus is accepted by the one and triune God as THE sacrifice for all sin. Anyone and everyone who trusts Jesus now as their personal Saviour will be forgiven sin, and given an entry to heaven which is guaranteed, because of what our Lord Jesus has accomplished.
 Victor Babajide Africa Bible Commentary (Word Alive Press: Nairobi) 2006, p.1185.