“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?'” (Matthew 16:24–26, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “What can a man give in exchange for his soul?” What, indeed? One could gain the whole world and still not have enough to redeem their soul. Why? Redemption required the blood of Christ. Just one drop of which was more valuable than the whole world. But it did not stop with sweating drops of blood in the garden, inquiring if there was any other way. Only His death on the cross could redeem mankind.
In acquiescence Jesus offered “nevertheless, not my will but yours.” And because He “and the Father are one,” He willingly complied. “Who do you seek?” “I am He.” “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (John 18:11, NIV 1984). “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.” (John 18:36, NIV 1984).
My Advice – We need to put away our swords, drink the cup our Father gives us, and take up our crosses to follow Jesus instead. It may not be to the death, but if so, we need to understand what Kingdom we are dying for.