On this beautiful Saturday before Easter, my thoughts are on the cross… not to over-dwell on Jesus’ death, but more-so an attempt to really examine my own faith and what this Resurrection weekend means to me. If I want to truly embrace Jesus as risen savior, then perhaps I must have a better understanding of him as crucified King first.
It intrigues me that Jesus spoke of the cross long before he was put to death… that he compared the cost of being his disciple to this brutal form of capital punishment. I can only imagine that this unthinkable word-picture stunned those listening.
If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. (Matt. 10:38 NLT)
I’ve come to the conclusion that for much of my Christian life, I’ve looked at the passages about following Jesus as a child’s game of follow the leader… mindless play, with little or no consequence… Perhaps I’ve been watching the leader much more so than actually following him. But as I read more passages such as the one above, I begin to realize that I can’t be selective on where I follow him… he asks that I follow him all the way to a cross on a hill… and that I be willing to lay down my life for him there. Thankfully, that act also comes with a beautiful promise…
…if you give up your life for me, you will find it. (Matt. 10:39)
Lord Jesus, show me what it means to take up my own cross and follow you. I willingly give up my own life to follow after yours. Amen.