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The Rod and the Cross

By A.W. Tozer

      For the Christian cross carrying and chastisement are alike but not identical. They differ in a number of important ways. The two ideas are usually considered to be the same and the words embodying the ideas are used interchangeably. There is, however, a sharp distinction between them. When we confuse them we are not thinking accurately; and when we do not think accurately about truth we lose some benefit that we might otherwise enjoy. The cross and the rod occur close together in the Holy Scriptures, but they are not the same thing. The rod is imposed without the consent of the one who suffers it. The cross cannot be imposed by another. Even Christ bore the cross by His own free choice. He said of the life He poured out on the cross, ?No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself? (John 10:18). He had every opportunity to escape the cross but He set His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem to die. The only compulsion He knew was the compulsion of love.

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