Jesus said to His disciples, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:22-23)
Jesus knew He was on His way to the cross. And He knew what that meant.
I put down my Bible and contemplated that text a while. Follow Jesus. Even if . . . even if . . . even if following Jesus means following Him to our own Calvary.
I think that’s a very easy thing to do, to follow Him to our own Calvary when we do not have a Calvary. When we sit in the comfort and safety of our home, our family, our community, it’s easy to say we will follow Him wherever He leads.
But what if that comfort and safety fall apart? What if illness becomes painful and chronic. Or, wealth evaporates. Or, death takes not just one family member, but multiple members at the same time. Or, the diagnosis is terminal. Or, dementia slowly ravages the mind of a spouse. Or, long time and close friends reject us because of our faith. Or, if . . ..
The different kinds of Calvary hills are limitless, but our response to our own Calvary is limited to only one of two choices: Continue to take up our cross every day and follow Him to our Calvary;
Or we can turn away from our cross.
I think if anyone thinks living the Christian life is easy, that person is probably not living the Christian life. And I will go one step further. If anyone thinks living the Christian life without the direct intervention and aid of the Holy Spirit, then that person probably does not know what living the Christian life is all about.
Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of Your faithful, and kindle in us the fire of Your love. Make us an increasingly pure reflection of our Savior. Embolden us to follow our Jesus wherever He leads. Amen.