Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Jesus made this profound statement after He had revealed His death and resurrection to His bewildered disciples.
Good morning friends. The cross was given to Jesus by the Roman soldiers assigned to flog, brutalise and crucify Him. It’s a symbol of pain, suffering and shame. Its a burden, a cause, a mission, a passion, a purpose, a destiny…. Suffice to say that if you haven’t found yours yet, I pray that God almighty will begin to stir up your spirit to; discover, harness, and deploy it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Dear friends that is the starting point of discipleship, for each disciple must follow Jesus with their own cross. Unlike The London Marathon, no amount of training, coaching and nutritional programme can prepare you for the challenges of discipleship. It cannot be simulated, it is our daily choices of denying our present self for the transcending glory of our future self.
Discipleship is costly. It might cost you “friends”, family; hurt your “reputation”; life can be a little tougher sometimes, but exceedingly rewarding in the end. In Paul’s long walk to freedom, he made this statement in a letter to his friends;
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
So, in closing this morning’s thought, I leave you with this beautiful hymn by Fanny J Crosby.
Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain—
Free to all, a healing stream—
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and Mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
Bring its scenes before me;
Help me walk from day to day,
With its shadows o’er me.
Near the cross I’ll watch and wait
Hoping, trusting ever,
Till I reach the golden strand,
Just beyond the river.
Happy Palm Sunday!