Jesus didn't get a glorious martyr's kind of death, but a death of ridicule and mockery. Even as He hung there, naked and abandoned by His closest friends, the people around would still have been thinking all sorts of negative things about Him. Good thing then that Jesus didn't come to earth for the opinions. He came to live for us, and then, for us, to die. From washing crusty feet to dying the worst possible death, Jesus' life was an ongoing example of sacrifice.
And the call goes out from the cross, to us, today, 'Will you come with Me? Will you drink the cup I drink? Will you give up everything for God, loving others enough to show them the way to Me?' The decision to follow Christ isn't just to tick a box. It is to make Christ the absolute purpose of your life, to make Him the thread that your every action and word hangs off. It comes with power. It makes your life one whole, rather than lots of little parts. It gives you meaning and value. But it is a serious journey to embark on. Every aspiration, every dream, every hope is shattered and re-shaped by the call of Jesus, and becomes something new in Him. Is it time for you to take up the challenge?
So what now? Write out 1 Peter 5:6, Luke 14:11 and Matthew 16:24. How do you need to put following Jesus into practice in your life?
SoulFood: Isa 1-3, John 5:16-30, Ps 15, Pr 27:10-12
The Word For You Today (an adaptation of The Word for Today authored by Bob & Debby Gass) is published under licence by RBG New Zealand. 2011 UCB International Ltd