Luke 9:23- And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Today is the day when most people in our country celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at worship sites. When you think about it, we have heard all the things Dr. King has done, but I don’t think we think about the service that he called us to do.
He, like our savior says, ‘Pick up your cross.’
Most of us want to shove our cross away. We don’t want it. We look at it and we abhor it. We reject it. We know that it comes with burdens. We know it comes with scorn and ridicule. This is what true discipleship is all about. It is a life that you live, daily, following after Jesus, your forerunner. What did Jesus do in His daily life? He took up His cross and denied Himself, and in this way, the sin in Him was brought into death.
Taking up your cross daily leads to transformation, This is the process of sanctification, in which we our sinful human nature is gradually exchanged for divine nature when we in obedience to God’s will deny and put to death the sinful lusts in our flesh. Two thousand years later, Christians view the cross as a cherished symbol of atonement, forgiveness, grace, and love. Following Jesus is easy when life runs smoothly; our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials.
Commitment to Christ means taking up your cross daily, giving up your hopes, dreams, possessions, even your very life if need be for the cause of Christ. Only if you willingly take up your cross may you be called His disciple (Luke 14:27). The reward is worth the price.
Jesus followed His call of death to self (“Take up your cross and follow Me”) with the gift of life in Christ: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:25-26).