Summary: What Our cross really is
Mini-Sermon-Moses, shepherd’s rod. This rod was not only for his protection; it was part of his life. In the culture of the Middle East in those days, a person was identified
with his rod, another name for staff. For those familiar with the story of Judah
and Tamar, this was the reason why Tamar used the staff of Judah, her father in
law, as an evidence to identify him as the father of her children. Because Moses
identified himself with his rod, he was reluctant to cast it down when God told
him to. But when he did so, his rod turned into a snake and Moses actually fled
from it. Then God told him to pick up the snake by its tail.
When Moses obeyed and picked up the snake, it turned into a rod again.
From that time on it was no longer the rod of Moses but the rod of God.
With that rod Moses defeated the magicians of Egypt, and Pharaoh, parted the red sea and led the Israelites out of slavery.
Your spouse, your children, your family, your situation, your talents, it’s time for you to turn them over to God!
Verse 31-33-The Rebuke
His own disciples still didn’t understand Jesus or His mission!
The disciples were expecting sooner or later for the religious leadership to come to their senses, and accept Jesus as the Messiah. And, Jesus would be elevated to the throne of David and lead the Jews in defeating the Roman empire.
But, Jesus tells them what is really going to happen! The leaders of the nation will not accept him; instead they will reject him.
Jesus won’t ascend to David’s throne; instead he will suffer and be killed and after three days rise again.
And, Peter, the chief of the disciples, wasted no time in taking action.
It would have been something like grabbing Jesus’ arm and pulling him away from the rest of the disciples.
Turning away from Peter, Jesus faced the other disciples.
Jesus rebuke Peter – while Peter was at his back, and Jesus was looking at the rest of the disciples. And, so, Jesus rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Verse 34-35-There’s the story of a soldier frantically digging in during battle as shells fall all around him. Suddenly his hand feels something metal and he grabs it.
It’s a silver cross. Another shell explodes and he buries his head in his arms.
He feels someone jump in the foxhole with him and he looks over and sees an army chaplain. The soldier thrusts the cross in the chaplain’s face and says, “I sure am glad to see you. How do you work this thing?”
Self-denial is submission of my self to Jesus. It does not bring me bondage, it liberates me to be the best He intends for me to be.
To be a disciple of Jesus I must “take up my cross.
Luke 9:23: “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.”
A disciple of Jesus takes up his cross every single day; it is a daily dedication ofourselves to Him, not a once in a life time experience.
Journey- It is not just following a set of laws, or set of beliefs, it is following Christ.