PICK ME, CHOOSE ME, LOVE ME
I. THE FIRST PART OF THE COST IS TO DENY
A. Grey’s Anatomy (Season 2 Episode 5 Bring the Pain)
1. Last Week commandments related to man.
2. This week commandments related to God.
B. What is the cost of discipleship?
C. Total abandonment of ourselves.
1. We bring nothing to the table.
2. We are totally dependent on the Lord.
II. THE SECOND PART OF THE COST IS THE CROSS.
1. This is one of the most misused statements that Jesus ever made.
2. People have used it to describe trials and troubles they are going through.
a) My marriage is my cross.
b) My work is my cross.
c) My addiction is my cross.
d) He/she/ they are my cross.
3. The issue here isn’t trials and trouble although the Christian life is full of them.
a) Phil. 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
b) 2Tim. 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
4. But I think there is more going on here.
B. We don’t understand the impact of Jesus statement because we are so far removed from the time and culture of that day.
1. Crucifixion was the execution of choice for the Roman Government.
2. It was used for non-Roman citizens and traitors.
3. The process included flogging the person and then making him carry his cross through the streets to a place outside of the city were he was nailed or tied to the beams and left to die.
4. Every one who was around in those days understood what taking up one’s cross meant.
a) It meant being totally and completely humiliated and abused.
b) It meant dying.
c) Rome used it not only as an instrument of torture and execution but also as a shameful pillory reserved for the worst and lowest. To the Jews it was a sign of being accursed
d) Talk about a deterrent for crime.
5. So here you have one of the most horrendous forms of execution and Jesus is saying that they must take up their own cross and follow Him.
a) How many do you think would be hanging around after that kind of invitation?
C. Jesus is emphasizing the extent of our self denial.
1. Luke adds take up his cross daily!!
2. Building upon the Roman practice of bearing the crossbeam to the place of execution, Jesus intended this in two directions: the death of self, involving the sacrifice of one’s individuality for the purpose of following Jesus completely; and a willingness to imitate Jesus completely, even to the extent of martyrdom.
III. THE THIRD PART OF THE COST IS TO FOLLOW.
A. The word means to accompany someone – to be going the same way.
B. This word is used mostly in the gospels and most often is used to refer to following Jesus.
C. In the context of our passage the call becomes even more specific.
1. This is a clear call to discipleship.
D. This is a serious call too.
1. Mt. 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
E. So Jesus lays down the requirements for being His disciple.
1. Deny yourself. PICK ME
2. Take up your cross. CHOOSE ME
3. Follow Me. LOVE ME
F. All of these things seem a bit hard don’t they?