Walking To The Cross – Walking With The Cross

“Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke‬ ‭9:23‬ ‭NET‬‬
When Jesus first told His disciples they needed to take up their cross and follow Him, it might have been easy for them to imagine Him speaking in metaphor. That is, until they saw Him actually picking up a cross and marching off to His death. At that point, it was hard to deny the severity of their call. Jesus was serious. To follow Him, they would need to be “all in.” They would need to be willing to give up everything. It’s no wonder those disciples initially ran away and hid. I would probably have done the same! It seems so radical. Why would God ask this of His disciples?
A message of sacrifice probably didn’t sell well. Where were the throngs who ate the fishes and loaves? What happened to the thousands who worshipped Him when He entered the city?  They did not like this message of denial and sacrifice. Most of us, if we’re honest, want just enough Jesus to get the benefits, but not so much we feel the cost. Yet is it really possible to get one without the other?
This Sunday we are going to look at the question of how we can pick up our cross and serve Jesus. Why should we expect to live a life of freedom in Christ without sacrifice. May we all practice sacrifice this week as we walk toward the cross. May we all demonstrate what it means to deny ourselves and follow Jesus.
In Christ’s love and service,

Pastor Paul Marzahn