Well, Come and Take up your Cross
We all probably know what’s coming. This scripture verse is sometimes quoted ad nauseum, as kind of a readjustment of the moral compass which has been pulled by some kind of dark gravity into places we shouldn’t go. I don’t think that’s what Jesus was talking about.
When the Messiah (that’s what Peter has just called Jesus) delivers these words, “If anyone wants to follow after me, they must deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow me,” we find a reorientation of priorities and an eye-opening look at a different, dangerous and fulfilling life.
The scripture is not about recognising the things in our lives which most irritate us, or the things that cause us to sin, but it is truly an invitation: An invitation to die so that one might live.
In our contemporary culture of death denial, where businesses boom in the anti-aging, anti-pain market, we find a listless lack of life. Our culture strives to insulate us all from pain, from danger, from anything that confronts our comfort, and we are left scratching our heads in our endless search for the mirage of safety wondering: “What does this all mean? Have I exchanged true life in Jesus for the death of meaning?”
This week, we’ll peel back the layers of this scripture spoken by Jesus who invites us into the death and denial of our selves, and peek behind what Jesus was meaning for his disciples from all time.
What does it mean for us to lose our life to find it?
A message by Pr. Reid Matthias
Bible Reading: Matthew 16:21-28
Song JAM (C), performed by Chris Jaensch, used by permission.