I am reading through David Platt’s book RADICAL for extra reading this summer and have been meditating on a sermon he did on Luke 14:25-35. Platt challenges believers to live a radical Christian life denying and dying to selfish desires, wants, and even needs. I have been praying that the Lord would give me insight into this passage and help me to see areas in my life where I am living with more than I need, praying further for a desire to give up that I might serve others.
Verse 27 of this passage has been especially challenging this week. It reads, ” Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after ME cannot be my disciple.” As I studied the passage I came to the word cross. When I looked it up in my Bible it means what you might think it means, “a stake or post, a pole or cross used as capital punishment, typically where criminals were hanged for execution.” As I began to meditate on this it hit me that not only is Christ asking them to deny themselves, but He is asking them to die to themselves. I have heard this preached time and time again but never connected the Cross with death. In our culture it is more like a decorative piece something that we hang in our house to fill wall space. Often we associate it with Christ, but never do I say that Christ was a criminal and His execution was on the cross. There is nothing glorious about that…or is there? What is glorious is that Christ carried His cross dying as a criminal to this world in that He rebelled against the prince and principalities of the air to be in perfect harmony with His Father, to the praise of His glorious grace. (reminds me of the song Rebel by Lecrae) He picked up the worlds tool of execution, took it upon His back delivering it, and Himself, to His place of death. That my friends is glorious, and that is what He is asking of us. He tells us to deny ourselves, but moreso to take upon our backs the tool that we will eventually die upon-The Cross. He calls us then to walk after Him- to follow Him- to our own death, the death of our flesh, the sanctification of our Spirit. He leads the way paving a path for our salvation and sanctification .
It is difficult, but I praise Him for challenging me to live as a rebel, to be crucified in my flesh as a criminal to this world and to live as a servant to the next. Lets pick up our execution and allow Him to lead us to death.