Jesus knew that it was not time to fully reveal himself to the people yet. He knew what was coming and that His purposes were not completed. Sure He was among the people and sure He was performing miracles but so had the Prophets before him. They had done all the things that Jesus was doing so far. This is why the people were thinking He was John or Elijah or a Prophet. What made Jesus different was the fact that He knew He was going to conquer death. No one had done this. Perhaps it is humanly impossible to comprehend what Jesus knew He was going to go through. Starting from the rejection of the Elders, chief Priests and Scribes, the torture to Calvary to the time in the grave. These thoughts come from Luke 9:21-27
It was a time of reflection. Sure, the Apostles and disciples had been with Him for some time and had shared of Jesus’s ministry so far but it was time to lay it down to business. He said to them, if anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and looses and forfeits himself?.
First of all, Jesus was reflecting upon His cross. What did the cross represent for Him? It was the price He had to pay to save us, to come into this world to reach us, and to bring the message of salvation. His love for us as painful as the road ahead seemed, made him take such price. When He asks us to be willing to take our cross daily, what is He meaning? Does he mean that we take a wooden cross and walk across town with it? Perhaps that is what He is telling some of you to do, if that is the way you are told to reach others, but it also means that your cross might be different from my cross.
Your cross and my cross is the price we have to pay upon becoming His disciples. Upon taking on His image, seeing others through His eyes and loving them the way He does. Our cross is not the struggles we go through because of our choices or because we live in a broken world but the load or burden we carry for the sake of the Gospel. It is in this that the next section applies, where He asks us to die to ourselves so that we can save our lives. It doesn’t mean that we allow for our bodies to be destroyed. It means that your life serves a different purpose. You are not a self servant but a servant for your Master to be used as a vessel for what He sent you here for.
We learn to understand that This Earthly Journey is only but the first chapter of our lives. As we align our will with His, we also learn our purpose and in that we gain our life. Not solely a futuristic life after this physical one but at the present moment. We have become part of a bigger effort. To lead, to help, to support and to point those journeying to the right path that leads to theirs and our forever home. Like Jesus, and as Jesus, we also pay the price as we know Satan has control over many and how we live and what we think, is usually in controversy with this world.
These struggles are temporary for He says in Verses 26 that He is coming back!. He says, Listen to me, why would you worry about earning this short-lived life on Earth, wasting it over riches and glory in exchange for the eternal life I am offering you? If you are embarrassed about Me, you are not my disciple and I will ignore you when I come back in My Glory and My Father’s and the Angel’s glory. Listen, some of you have had it easy and have not struggled but on that day when you see what the kingdom of God looks like and you are not covered under my gift, you will truly understand what death means.
As His vision becomes ours, we join Him in His work and take up our cross. He died and rose for the love of every individual no matter their color, shape, religion or language.We have been commissioned to continue His work until He comes back. He could not conceive for one person to be lost. This too shall be our vision and our fight! Christian Soldiers, let’s take up our cross and follow Him!