[Jesus] then began to teach [his disciples] that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. …Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
~ Mark 8:31,34
When Jesus spoke, he spoke the truth plainly. His words were spoken out of love for believers. He wanted us to know with undeniable certainty the depth of his love.
Jesus spoke of his death that would win complete forgiveness for every sin, “The Son of Man…must be killed.” He would humbly set aside his glory and unwaveringly go to the cross where he would be crucified and die for us.
Jesus also spoke words of triumph! “…after three days rise again.” Even as Jesus prepared to journey on the road to the death-cross on Calvary, his lips delivered a message of light and life.
In the Bible, Jesus speaks the truth plainly to us. We can trust him when he lovingly calls us to follow him. He does not promise that following him will make our life comfortable and carefree. Rather, he tells us plainly that there will be a cross to carry. His selfless love for us, inspires us to deny our own sinful, selfish ways and follow him.
One day, because we believe in him and follow him, we will enjoy the eternal victory his death and resurrection won for us. We know this is true, for he has clearly told us so! “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, you are the way and the truth and the life. Thank you for your words which inspire me to deny myself and to gladly follow you. Amen.