Take Up Your Cross
We heard a great and inspiring message on Easter Sunday from Graham McMechan about the cross and our call to be crucified.
Easter is a wonderful time of year to remember the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for each one of us on the cross, although as a church we remember this every week. The fact that Jesus was willing to pay the penalty for our sin by being crucified is truly amazing. I am so grateful.
Luke 9:23,24 says…Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
Our decision to follow Christ is not just a one-off decision. Sure, at the time we accept and believe in Jesus Christ, we are saved. Salvation is the free gift which you and I receive, however, that free gift came at a very high price. I am reflecting on the call that Jesus made to us to take up our cross every day. Our decision to follow Christ is a daily decision.
Is that something we really understand? What does it mean to take up your cross daily and follow Him?
There is a cost involved for us to save our lives…that cost is for us to lose our lives. That is, to be willing to give up what we may want, crucify our own desires for His sake, and then our lives will be saved.
I heard a story yesterday, following the horrific terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka where so many innocent lives have been tragically taken, that just before the bombs went off, the congregation (which included children) were asked if they were willing to lay down their lives to live for Christ. Wow—they would never have thought that the next moment, that would become a reality!
What would we do when faced with this decision? I hope and pray, that our daily decision to take up our cross and follow Jesus - to lose our lives so that we might be saved - would give us the courage and boldness required to stand strong in the face of adversity and persecution.
A challenging Scripture for all of us comes from Matt 10:32,33 where it says…”Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”