Who is up for such a task as carrying the Cross of Christ?
If we are fully in Christ, and lead fully by His Spirit, and word speaking, and walking in His truth, all of who we are, and what we are speaking, spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. God uses our senses throughout His word of truth as a way of explaining how He receives us and the way we receive Him through His Spirit.
Those who love Him, the knowledge of Him is like a fragrance of life, those who don’t love Him above all, his knowledge is like a fragrance of death because they will have to give up something or someone they love more than him.
People will “see”, and “smell” His light of life glowing within a person, or they will “see” or “smell” death. It does not matter where He has placed them through His Spirit, all will be exposed because who He is within that person.
It can be in the darkest place, or in the brightest of places, a child of God will be spreading the knowledge of who He is through their words and deeds. He will always be lifted in every child that loves Him, and He will always be lifted in others through them.
God will always lead His children that are carrying His Cross in triumphal procession because they are spreading the knowledge of Christ. They will always be a pleasing aroma to Him. They will remain following Him by all He gives them from within, regardless how others respond to His presence, and message.
2 Corinthians 11:14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved, and those who are perishing. To the one are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the world of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like man sent from God.
To God, His true children are the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. His truth within them will always remain the same, but people will respond to Him differently. All will be exposed by how each person responds to His truth.
To one, who do not love Him above all others and things, they will respond to His message as a fragrance of death. These people can be false apostles masquerading as apostles of Christ. It can also be proven through any unbeliever. The person who smells death, due to their lack of love for Him, will respond to the anointed child of God with, pride, self-piety, bitterness, resentment, mocking, and contempt.
To the other, who truly loves Him, they will respond to His message as a fragrance of life. They will respond with His humility toward His Father as a child being taught by His Father through His Spirit, His joy, His gentleness, His understanding, and love, the fruit of His Spirit will be lifting them up giving them life through the message, not death.
Jesus shares this truth with a religious man, a high member of the ruling council of the Pharisee, named Nicodemus. He came to visit Jesus in the “dark”, because he was scared to visit Jesus in the “day light.” He feared losing his position, reputation, and being ridiculed by the other Pharisees.
Nicodemus had seen and heard how the other Pharisees ridiculed Jesus, and his disciples in their council meetings, and he did not want to experience what Jesus and the other disciples of Christ were experiencing. Jesus tells Nicodemus a person must be reborn through His Spirit of truth to enter the Kingdom of God, and He is the verdict that has come into the world to prove those that do live through His Spirit of light, and those that don’t, remain in darkness.
John 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth come into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
Some people will love darkness, the lie, more than His light of truth, and they will not come into His light of truth in fear of their evil deeds being exposed, but those who love His truth will come into His light and not be afraid of exposing the lie, and it will be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
Nicodemus and the other Pharisees liked people lifting them up, praising them, boasting about them, but they did not live to please God, and did not live humbly for God so He could exalt them. They were not any different than the world or the Roman government, they liked exalting themselves, and they used everything, every occasion, and people to exalt themselves. A humble child of God will always live for God, in all occasions, to exalt them not people. Just like Jesus did not live for people to exalt Him, He lived for His Father to exalt Him, and we will too, if He is in us.
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you.
Evil in God’s sight reveals many spirits a natural man will never be aware of, and many can be deceived thinking they are rightly related to God, but they may be idolizing something above Him that makes them feel good. Today there are many who love people, life, and all things around them, but they, like Nicodemus, become very religious, and have a deep passion in pleasing God, but it is through their own ideas and understanding of who God was and is.
Nicodemus wanted to learn about Jesus, but he had no true love for God, and His understanding of who He was in His heart. Nicodemus had earthly things on His mind above Heavenly things. He let fear take over, fear of losing His standing in the community, fear of losing his own value of his accomplishments, and fear of losing his own understanding of who God was. Nicodemus was much like Paul, being twisted by His religious views, rules, traditions, and was being deceived until He heard the truth from Jesus.
John 3:11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
V 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
We do not know what happened to Nicodemus after Jesus was resurrected, perhaps He was resurrected by our Father through His power and grace working in Nicodemus as He worked in Paul, and all the disciples and followers of Jesus the same way He works in and through us.
I think because Nicodemus was curious enough to seek him out in secret before his crucifixion, when Jesus was crucified, the earth shook, and the religious curtain was torn, the heart of Nicodemus was open enough to let His faith in and fear out! We do know what happened to Paul when He saw the light of Jesus after Jesus resurrected to Heaven.
The light of Jesus, His grace within had a huge effect on Him, and Paul gave all of himself to Jesus as God’s Holy Son and His Heavenly Father through all God had given Paul through His Spirit of truth, just as He does in and through us today, we too can be like Paul and give all when we first see Jesus, and everyday after, for Him to make the choices in life for us through His Spirit of truth.
If you find yourself responding to God’s truth with fear of any kind, resentment, mocking, contempt, self-piety, pride in your own righteousness, repent immediately and face His truth, and presence that gives you new birth, and life. His mercy and His forgiveness will be like a fountain pouring over you with a new heart lifting you up to only wanting to please Him above all others and things in this world.
Let His truth transform us, mold us, and lift us higher than we are today, higher than our own righteousness, and higher than our own guilt and shame. This task of carrying our Cross is a miracle that only can be done through the power and grace of God. You can begin pouring out His light of truth without fear as a humble devoted child wanting to be taught by a devoted Father.
He will exalt you beyond your own imagination that takes you beyond this world into His Kingdom. Those who are perishing or those who are being saved will not affect your relationship with Him, but through each response He will reveal who we are. Who is up for such a task as carrying His Cross? Those who love Him above all!