Here I am, sat in a dentist’s waiting room. I’m waiting to be taken into the next room, injected with a needle, drilled, scraped, pushed, prodded and poked. The session will take about half an hour, and then I’ll have the privilege of paying for it all at the end!!! What sane person would willingly put themselves through all of this torture?
The only reason we endure the pain of a visit to the dentist is because we know that the good that comes from it far outweighs the momentary pain we suffer. We know that if we didn’t go to the dentist then the pain would become greater and greater and eventually we would have a real crisis on our hands. We learn that the temporary discomfort and difficulty leads to greater healing and wholeness.
Last Sunday Adrian taught on the work of Christ on the cross. The world changing, eternity shifting, universe defining moment where Christ laid down His life in order to open a door; a door that would allow mankind to exit the systems and ways of man that lead to death, and enter into the Kingdom of God.
In Matthew 16 v 24-25 Jesus says “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”
Here we see that the door that Jesus opens is not just a doorway for Him to walk through, but a doorway that He calls us, His followers, to walk through as well. At the time the cross was widely known as an excruciating tool used by the Romans for the suffering and execution of the worst criminals. Many would not even use the word as they considered it so abominable and dishonouring; so why would anyone willingly ‘take up their cross’?
This Sunday we will see how Jesus calls all those who would follow Him to deny ourselves and take up our cross. We will consider together the amazing words of Jesus, and how each one of us, if we will respond to Jesus’ call, will find out that the good that comes from taking up our cross far outweighs any pain or suffering we may have to endure. We will see how our lives can be transformed, healed and made whole as we lay them down.
And you know what’s even better than this? The price has already been paid, so there isn’t even a bill to pay at the end!