“And He said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”- Luke 9:23
Imagine that you are living in first century Israel. The Roman Empire is in control of the area, and a means of torture and execution used is crucifixion. The cross was seen as an instrument of torture and death, and was highly feared. Then out of nowhere you hear Jesus say “Take up your cross and follow me.” It was a frightening proposition, because Jesus is asking deny ourselves and become a disciple.
In our culture today the cross is something cool. It is on T-shirts, and worn as jewelry, but in ancient times it was feared. The early Christians died for what the cross had come to mean. They died because they were followers of Christ. They denied themselves to follow Christ at all costs. Are we saying that we are following Christ, but our lives are showing little evidence of it? We may be leaving our cross at home a little too often. If we desire to change our cities, churches, and world then that cross needs to be hoisted over our shoulders all the time. Christ must be who we are looking to, and we must put our wants a distant second. We must become better disciples who help make other disciples. When in prayer this morning ask for the strength carry out the order of today’s verse. What are we clinging to that is keeping us from doing it?