Luke 9:23, “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.”
- First we see the identity of Jesus established in verses 21-22, Jesus is the One with final authority in heaven and on earth to remove guilt once and for all.
- In verse 23 Jesus lifts up His eyes to all the people and says, “Take up your cross and follow Me.”
- The invitation of Jesus is not to intellectually describe how Jesus removes our guilt. The invitation of Jesus is not a pop quiz. The invitation of Jesus is to live as new people in Jesus, free from guilt, with heaven on earth.
- So many times the local church presents Jesus as your ticket to heaven, but in verse 23 Jesus is saying, “Heaven on earth begins today. Take up your cross and follow Me.”
- The phrase, “take up your cross” means “die to yourself.” These words are from Jesus to put our fleshly desires of the world to death, and follow Jesus by faith in His authority.
That is why Jesus is asking, “Who do you say that I am?” The answer to that question makes all the difference. Jesus is the Christ! Jesus the One who holds all authority in heaven and on earth, therefore, by grace through faith in Jesus we die to our flesh and obey Him.