Monday, March 26, 2018
Read Matthew 16:24-28
24Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.25For whoever would save his lifeg will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
THE COST OF THE CROSS
If I invited you to follow me as I bungee jump off a bridge, would you? First of all, I will never do that. You can, but I’m not jumping as I hate free falling and it only takes one little mistake and… splat. I’ve counted the cost versus the reward, and I ain’t doin it!
After Jesus told the disciples He was going to Jerusalem to suffer, die and be raised on the third day, he invited them to follow him. He said, “take up your cross and follow me.” Do you think Peter was having it? He had just rebuked Jesus Christ for saying it. Now Jesus invites them to join.
I can only imagine Peter and the disciples are looking at one another wondering what in the world they have gotten themselves into. Was following Him a good idea, a safe idea? Jesus is asking a lot, and it appears it will cost them a lot. Will they jump?
The truth is, they don’t jump. Later, when Jesus does, they scatter. Peter even hides his identity and denies Jesus in front of a little girl at a fire. In that moment, he counted the cost and said, “no!”
How many times have my actions proclaimed “no” to my cross? To count for too long is to invite a flood of guilt and shame. What can I give in return for my soul? What did Peter give? Remarkably nothing… absolutely nothing! Jesus paid it all.
The cross is remarkable – remarkably costly – and yet God’s love is free to all. As we journey to the cross this week, may the mystery of the gospel take us deeper into His love, His glory and His abundant life.
Thank you for the cross, Lord. Thank you for the price You paid. Bearing all my sin and shame, in love You came and gave amazing grace. Draw me deeper into your love. Amen.