Growing In Godliness Blog
“Take up Your Cross”Categories: Author: Austin Shearer
Take up Your Cross
By Austin Shearer
Jesus foretold his death three times in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke), and every time he did, Jesus taught a lesson about discipleship. Not only did Jesus teach about discipleship, but he also made clear the cost that comes from following Jesus. In Luke 9:21-23 Jesus said, “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Those are hard words to hear. If you want to be Jesus’ disciple, if you want to follow him, Jesus offers a grim reality, it will involve the cross. That’s what discipleship is really all about, imitating Jesus. Jesus came to do the will of the Father, no matter the cost to himself, and that is exactly the self-sacrificing journey that he is calling his followers to embark on. And yes, it is often painful.
After all, Jesus says that his disciple will take up a cross. The cross was a horrifying instrument of execution. It’s method, and cruelty was widely known; and death, while sure, was usually long and excruciating.
It would be tough to read Jesus’ words there in Luke 9:21-23, if we couldn’t also read the words that follow in verse 24, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” The final destination on the way of Christ is not the cross – it is an empty tomb and a glorious new life. And so, when we take up that painful cross and follow Jesus, we are also grabbing hold of the resurrection of our Lord, and glorious end to our journey.