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18th March 2024


Take Up Your Cross



 Jesus said to them, “If anyone desires to come after Me,

let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

 

Luke 9:23


They did not expect to live long. UK missionaries in the nineteenth century often believed their overseas ministry would probably last a year or two before they’d succumb to disease and death. “Consequently, they would pack all their belongings not into a suitcase, but in a coffin, and then set sail,” explains Peter Maiden in his book Discipleship Matters.


Imagine packing your possessions into the symbol of your own death! Stepping onto ships carrying their coffins, these men were a literal outworking of command of the Lord: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).


In their example, extreme though it is, the saving heart of God is revealed. For first Jesus had explained how He would take up His own cross: “The Son of Man must suffer many things . . . and he must be killed and on the third day be raised the third day” (v 22). In other words, Jesus packed His own ‘coffin’ when He left heaven. He did not just come to live here, but to die. For you. For me. And to be raised again to a new life that can never be lost.


The call to take up our cross is sobering. It involves sacrifice, following wherever Jesus may lead. But it is the only life where we can walk alongside the One who knows what it takes to lose it all on earth to gain something far better.

Bible Reading

Luke 9:22–26.


Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for leaving heaven for me, to come and die in my place. My life is Yours, for wherever You will lead me. Amen.

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