What does it mean to “deny” myself?
How does one “take up their cross”?
How does a person “follow” Jesus?
Please read Matthew 16:24-25
Vs. 24 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “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 will find it.”
If the yoke of Jesus is easy and His burden is light as it says in Matthew 11:30- what the heck is this about?
Jesus Loves You like no one else and as a result of that Love He is working in your life and my life to create a more loving being in each of us!
With this in mind I would like to offer the following as a possible understanding to this passage:
1) Deny oneself – To live and breathe with the understanding that my wants, cravings and desires take second place to Loving Others!
2) Take up ones cross – The cross was the ultimate symbol of Love! Put a different way this means take up the Love, give Love and share Love- but remember that comes from Him through you- He is faithful to supply the Love you need.
3) Follow Him – Isn’t Christ the one that couldn’t afford a tomb so He borrowed one? Why is that? Ok prophecy yes but also to illustrate a point I believe- “It just doesn’t matter” how much you have or what you leave the world- It’s all about the Love you share!
The bottom line is this- If you live for yourself and your own pleasure and your own wants, even while you think you are saving your life or having a life- you will lose in the end because you didn’t Love!
If you Love others and share their needs and hurts, if you non-judgmentally care for others and share your Love with others- even while it looks like you are losing your life for the sake of others- in the end you will gain it with the Love you shared!
If following Jesus is about a list of archaic rules that change with every passing generation then we deny the example and life of Jesus Christ!