Mark 8:31, 34-36 (NIV) – He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the 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: “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. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
“The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” [Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, p.89]
Taking up our cross is not the same as Jesus dying on THE cross (which was a once-for-all sacrifice for humanity’s sin literally on a wooden cross). But it is also not entirely separate from the suffering, rejection, dying and rising of our Messiah.
Prayer: Jesus, your call is a call to follow you, to be with you, and it is a call to come and die. Lord, I choose today to deny myself, to take up my cross and to follow you!
Worship Jesus today through this song, “In Christ Alone” (click here) by Passion