Google+ 08/17/2013 Now, Take Up Your Cross and Follow!

Luke 9:22-24

 

“The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said.

“He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law.

He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”

Then he said to the crowd,

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways,

Take up your cross daily, and follow me.

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.

But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it."

 

As we begin part six of our seven-part devotion explaining who we are in Christ, we experience Jesus speaking directly to the disciples and the large crowd that has formed to hear Him preach.  Three of the four gospels report this sermon and all agree on exactly what Jesus told the crowd.  In making sure that the disciples and any new believers understand exactly who they are in God, Jesus explains that a Christian's life is never easy.  Jesus explains that He will be rejected by all of the traditional aspects of the church.  He will be turned away by the priests, elders, and teachers of religious law.  In short, anyone that had any position in the Jewish church was going to turn on Jesus.  He then drops the bombshell of the century.  Jesus explains that He is actually going to be killed for His beliefs.  Before the crowd can get their hands around this pronouncement, Jesus explains that He will rise from the dead after three days!  Anyone caught up in the moment yet?!  While these things are important and traumatic, the last past of our Scripture today is the part that says it all.  So, you say you want to be just like Jesus and follow Him?  No problem.  Simply take up your cross.  That's right, just like Jesus, we get to carry the cross on which we will be crucified by all of the political and religious leaders of our day.  We must give up our lives, freely, to Jesus.  If we do, Christ will save us.  If we don't, the world will crucify us and death will be final.  What are you waiting for?  You can't jump on the bandwagon when it is convenient.  Jesus has told us clearly who we are in Him.  Now, Take Up Your Cross And Follow!