Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. (Mark 8:34, 35 NIV)
Today at Newspring Brad Cooper gave the second message in the “No Other Name” series. His main point was “You have to have death before you have resurrection/life… And if you have no cross, you have no resurrection.” Unpacked that means that you must die to your old life, begin anew in Christ, daily carry your cross and follow Jesus. What does “Take up your cross and follow me” mean?
Brad used five points to unpack that statement by Jesus.
To carry your cross looks like this:
- It’s noticeable- in relationships, jobs, money, dating, decisions. You do everything differently to a point where people notice.
- It’s uncomfortable. It means saying “yes” to uncomfortable conversations & decisions. Brad used the illustration that Jesus was bent in an uncomfortable way to be put on the cross– the cross wasn’t bent to fit him. It is challenging to say yes to carrying the cross!
- It’s personal. It’s a personal decision and you must take personal responsibility. You cannot tag on from your parents, friends, etc. You make that personal decision on your own to take up your cross and walk with Jesus.
- It’s permanent. You make decisions now that will effect you later. No matter what you do there is permanence in securing that truth.
- It’s public. Jesus carries the cross in public for all to see and he means for us to do the same. Our faith is not a private matter. It shows in your dating, your marriage, your friendships, your relationships, your church involvement, your tithing, your work, your college decisions, money decisions, life decisions, etc. It infiltrates every single area of your life.
In summary, Brad said ‘Taking up our cross daily & following Jesus is noticeable, uncomfortable, personal, permanent, public.’ I loved Brad’s closing prayer, “Help us not to be hypocritical & confess You Lord with our lips and not show it publicly in our lives.”