Take up your cross and follow me!
Jesus told His disciples in Luke 9:23-26, “And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels”. In making this bold statement to His followers Jesus is posing to them what it truly means to be a disciple and what they may have to endure in the future. It is also a foreshadowing of what Jesus is going to be doing as their Savior and Lord.
This type of commitment or persecution is not something most of us will ever have to be subjected to. Although there are people/martyrs all over the world who have given up everything: family, home, business, finances, possessions, reputation, and even their lives for the sake of Christ. Yet, Jesus does still call each of us to make a stand of our faith that is founded on His name. To call ourselves Christians often times comes at a higher cost than merely offering lip service. Are you and me willing to put ourselves out there for the name of Jesus?
For the 7th year in a row, we will be doing a Cross Walk event in our area. It will take place from 2:00 – 3:00 pm on Good Friday. The walk will take place in the neighboring city, and we will be traveling down both sides of the downtown sector. We will have different individuals, who are in attendance for the activity, take turns carrying a cross. There will be 10 stops along the way, where we will read sections from an article written by Dr. Jim Bishop, an emergency room physician. These readings describe in detail what Jesus physically and emotionally endured during His persecution and crucifixion. For many of the people, who have come to the walk, there has surfaced deep feelings of anguish and sadness. But that just goes to show how powerful what Jesus did for us really was.
I am looking forward to sharing this special time on Good Friday with my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We make it a point to end the Cross Walk at 3:00 pm because that is when Jesus said it is finished and gave up His spirit. May God bless your Good Friday experience. Pastor McCarty