Friday, April 29, 2016

Take up Your Cross

Matthew 16:24-26
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

The cross was death in Roman culture.  Jesus is telling His disciples to die to themselves in order to serve God fully.  The image of "taking up your cross" is one of a condemned criminal carrying the cross bar of his own execution through the streets of the city and enduring the insults and humiliation of the crowds along the way.

Denying ourselves and taking up our cross means we have decided to let go of our selfish ambitions and own ways and fully dedicated our lives to following Jesus.

Jesus is hitting the disciples and hitting us right between the eyes with the call to seek Him first by "losing our lives" for His's by abandoning selfishness and handing our lives over to God that we find "life."

Our souls are more valuable than anything this life can offer and since God is the author of life He knows better than we do that living for Him (and not for ourselves) is what it means to be a disciple.

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