Because Jesus died on a cross, we might think his life wasn’t worth imitating. But stop and think for a moment. What about Jesus’ life wasn’t admirable? Who wouldn’t want to follow Jesus?
This past weekend, I delivered two speeches on the subject of Christian lifestyle. I was trying to explain —first to a group of university students on retreat; second to the adults of my congregation— what it is like, and why it is important, to live our life based on the belief that the good news about Jesus is the focal point for our lives. In other words, what it means to live for Jesus —in other words, to follow Jesus.
Both speeches took as their starting point the Bible passage Mark 8:34-38. There is recorded Jesus telling the crowd that to be his disciple one must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow him. These are, unquestionably confronting words and challenging words to live up to.