“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”” Matt. 16:24-25
The gospel about Jesus is about the cross of Christ. Jesus completed His cross for our sake and therefore man can now be reconciled to God through the risen Jesus. The gospel about Jesus is bloody. Christ suffered, died and rose for us. Without the cross of Christ there is no gospel. Jesus did not come primarily as a teacher or miracle worker, but to take our punishment of sin on the cross. And He did.
Peter was at one point influenced by Satan and said that Jesus would not have to suffer and die. But Jesus kept focus on His mission and did not let anyone influence Him to invent anything else. Thank you Jesus for completing your cross for us.
We who believe in Jesus are called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Jesus wants to help us deny ourselves daily, in the midst of an egocentric world. We can lose our own lives and agendas for the sake of Jesus and the gospel. This is not a lifestyle we can live on our own, but with God’s grace it is possible. Jesus said that His yoke is easy and that His burden is light. But, we need to have an attitude of denying ourselves and our constant desires to stay in the comfort zone.
This will lead us to find our real lives and we will glorify God through our lives. People around us will be helped and saved as we follow Jesus on the path of the cross and we will realize that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
Walking the path of the cross is normal Christian life and does not have to be presented in a depressing way with lots of “worry lines” in the forehead. Let the emphasis be on the help of Jesus when we trust and believe in Him. Let us walk the path of the cross forward in the power of the Holy Spirit and preach the cross of Christ and His resurrection to a broken world.
“Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matt. 28:18-20
God bless you.
/ David Billström