“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” ~ Mark 8:34-35
I wrote this in an email to a friend today:
Of course we both know that being a follower of Christ means that “normal” isn’t for us. Normal people don’t pick up crosses and carry them, willingly.
Over the past week or so I’ve been thinking about the extraordinary call of Christ. I don’t think we emphasize that enough today. I think part of that reason is because we’ve been desensitized to the statement, “pick up your cross”. Do we see the cross as a Jewish believer would have seen it at that time? I highly doubt it.
The cross at the time of Christ wasn’t a symbol of victory, but of subjection and death. It was a device of extreme torture used by the Romans in their oppression of the Jews and others. Jesus’ statement would have been radical and extreme. Who would willfully do such a thing? Surely only those whose hope is in Christ.
The Cross before me, the world behind me.
No turning back, No turning back .