Christians have built their religion and relationship with Jesus around his crucifixion. I have separated the two out for a very specific reason. To Christians, the crucifixion represents Jesus dying for our sins. Philippians 2:8 “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
There are two types of Christians. Those that believe in the cross and those that follow the cross. You might be wondering what the difference is. Those who believe, may not know Jesus. Christians that follow Jesus have a relationship with him. Christians that follow the cross, walk with Jesus proclaiming his name. Breaking the cycle of knowing but not walking is an important thing that we must overcome as believers in Christ.
Take a look at these three verses. They all have one thing in common. We are called to take up our cross.
Matthew 10:38 “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Mark 8:34 “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”
What does it mean to take up our cross?
When thoughts become action, we start to take up the cross. Just as :Luke 14:27 says that we cannot be Jesus's disciple without bearing our own cross. The purpose of taking up our own cross is be willing to die for Jesus. A monumental difference in the meanings of believing in a cross and those who believe the cross. We are called by Jesus multiple times in the Bible to follow him. He wants us to become a disciple on his behalf. How do we become a disciple for Jesus in this world?
Luke 9:24-25 “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?”
Are we watchers on the sideline or do we faithfully engage in sharing Jesus with others? Which side to you fall on as a Christian?
Are we willing to give up our own interests to follow Christ? We could lose relationships with family members and friends. Our job can be compromised. We may even get rejected by our Church. Do we have enough courage and obedience to follow Jesus? If we really trust Jesus, then we already know that he will be by our side.
Are we an idle Christian?
If we are idle Christians in a lost world, then what good are we? Do we shine the light of Jesus in a dark world or do we fade into the darkness. If you take nothing else away from this blog, remember this. Our purpose is to share the gospel with others. We are made to be disciples to others. When we believe of Jesus instead of believing in Jesus, we do not fulfil his desire for us to become his disciples. Knowing Jesus is not the same as having a relationship with Jesus. Believing in Jesus is what creates the relationship in our life.