Luke 9:23-24 And he said to them all, If 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.
A few years ago, when we were in Nashville, we were introduced to the ancient Hebrew alphabet; letters which were originally written much like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics in the time of Moses. In this written language it was often possible to derive the meaning of a word, because each letter was a symbol, which had its own particular meaning and significance. The different combinations of these letters/symbols formed "words" which were closely related to the meanings of the letters. Some fascinating revelations emerge from looking at this linguistic phenomenon, so I'm beginning a series of devotionals to unveil, letter by letter, the mysteries hidden in ancient Hebrew, and how these can be applied to our lives.
Beginning with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is called "Tav", we learn that this letter was used to indicate a mark or sign of the covenant. Can it be a coincidence that the letter "Tav" is easily recognized throughout the world today....... as a cross!
The ancient Hebrew alphabet ends with a sign of the covenant -- a cross. The last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, aptly, symbolizes the end of our Lord's human life on this earth, as He put and end to sin by His crucifixion, establishing the New Covenant.
Drawing a close parallel in our own lives as believers we realize that our natural lives as sinful humans must end at the cross. We are crucified with Christ (Messiah) and we no longer live, but Messiah lives in us; and the life that we now live, we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us. [Galations 2:20] In this resurrected life of faith, we "take up our crosses" daily, walking in the finality of the death of our sinful nature; and this is a sign to the world of the New Covenant which God has established through His Son.
Don’t despise your cross, the sufferings or hardships in this short life – for the cross you are carrying is a sign of your identity with Yeshua (Jesus), a reflection of His sufferings. And as you follow wholeheartedly after Him, your life will reveal the victory of His cross through the love, joy, and peace of His resurrection life which also dwells in you – a great paradox: as the end of the Hebrew alphabet, the letter "Tav", also points to -- a completely new Beginning!