“This is a hard saying!”… They kept saying that about the Word of Jesus. Can you lighten up, Jesus? Let’s get into the depths of this thing. This moment was a pinnacle time of Jesus Christ’s ministry! Jesus always talked about the cross because the cross was His purpose and final destination. Christianity without the cross is not Christianity at all. Let’s read Mark 8:31-38.
When Jesus spoke to His disciples, all the time He was talking about the cross, He spoke about being killed. People would focus on the killing of Jesus. Peter was focused on himself, his loss, what would he do? Although to the carnal man, it looked and sounded so adamant, so stoic, it was not good. They, just like us today, focus on the pain, on the blood, the persecution, on the bad, but we should focus on the resurrection. The disciples forgot about it even though Jesus said, “I am going to rise again!” Verily, verily, verily, He said to us about His death. Peter tried to stop Jesus, the king, the lamb, from dying. Why? Because Jesus was not doing God’s plan Peter’s way. But Jesus said: Get behind me, satan. He did not say, Peter, but satan. Get behind me with your agenda, with your ways, with man’s selfish desires. I am here to do the will of My Father, not the will of man!
Self-help, man’s traditions, man’s ways, encouragement, life coaching, that will not help you because they are always in the way of the cross! We must have the full counsel of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. We have made the cross our enemy, but it is our best friend. Without the cross, we cannot have Him, and He cannot have us.
Every problem is solved on the cross. Many preach, sing, and worship the cross but never hang themselves there, never pick up theirs! The bloody cross is our own salvation. The only savor we want is the Savior! The cross is still offensive today, but to us, the cross is the power of God! What shall the cross profit us if we do not pick it up? If there was an adulterous generation back then, imagine now. We must savor the Savior! Do not avoid the hard sayings of Jesus. The little ones are being tossed by the sugar-coated sayings of men, influencing people by what the flesh wants. Life without the cross is a life of dead works. Christianity without the cross is just a form of godliness but it is anti-Christ.
Anyone that stands between you and the cross is your enemy. It can be your own self, your mother, your children, the world, or the religious system. There is no way to use Babylonian preaching to build your own kingdom even if your kingdom is a ministry. The cross is freedom, peace, and joy!
Wow! “Get behind me” … So how many churches would Jesus say that to today? If you want to have revival, preach the cross! But if we move by inspiration of the soul or for our own selfish desires, we will not experience death or resurrection! So, we must be led to die to the flesh and to die to the lust of it so the spiritual Christ is formed in us, and as we decrease, He increases!
Stop talking back against the Word of God. You cannot live your life without the cross. If you are not encouraged to deny yourself, you will never live a resurrected life. He wants us to rise again! But we must pick up our cross, we must deny our will. The anti-Christ person is anti-cross. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 unto His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” One thing I realized is that some people just want to be saved and go to heaven, but they are missing out on the honor and the greater reward of being a follower of the Lamb of God! So, discipleship is something done on the cross. Period. It is impossible to say you are a follower of Christ without bearing your own cross, but man has lied to you. They told you that it is just a prayer that makes you a disciple of Jesus. Why would Jesus talk about counting the cost if it is all about just a prayer? Because it is all about a covenant!
We must do this invisible exchange: our cross, His resurrection. We hold the hope! In Him. We must focus on that! If we do not get this into a Godly perspective, we will be sifted. Not by God, but by satan! Jesus prayed for our faith to endure unto the end.
Read John 6:53-71. Jesus commanded us to eat His flesh and to drink His blood. We must take what people spoke by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, but when Jesus spoke, HIS WORDS WERE THE SPIRIT AND LIFE! That is why I must pay attention to His words: to the soft ones and to all His hard sayings. Some people don’t want to preach His Word because people would not come. The church attendance would go down. But His words are the Spirit and life! Get angry at anything that tries to stop you from going to the cross. Get behind me!
When the first motivational speaker showed up, Jesus said to him: “Get behind me, satan.” They are enemies of you, of the cross, and of Jesus. We must hate those voices! That motivational preaching will profit you nothing. When you stop believing, you start betraying. If you die now, you will rise again. Correction brings direction. We are being redirected today. Back to the cross! Read John 19:16-18 and Luke 14:17-35. Many today are giving excuses for not following Him. God is compelling us to pick our cross up and to sup with Him!
Yes! It is a hard saying, BUT WITH GOD all things are possible! O this path is narrow, BUT WITH GOD all things are possible! O this is painful, BUT WITH GOD all things are possible! O this cup of suffering, BUT WITH GOD all things are possible! Not my will but Yours! If they all really believed…Jesus said time and time again, “I will be killed but on the third day, I will rise.” If they would have believed, really believed, they would have waited by the door of the tomb! My God! He said, “In three days!” But they all scattered to their own ways and lives. After the resurrection, Jesus had to go and find them again! If you want to be able to walk in love, it is at the cross!
The reason why you want to pay evil for evil is because you are not picking up your cross. The reason why you have not been resurrected at His image is that you have not been picking your cross up. He told the multitude the same hard sayings. Was Jesus showing off? No. He was inviting them to partake of His divine nature.
Jesus knew the hour of His death. So many already talk themselves out of the cross! You pay the price for following Jesus on the cross. The flesh always reacts. After you die, what people or you think about yourself will not matter then.
When you rise again, God will show you how dead you are! The world will see it as the likeness of Christ! Put your whole being on the cross and not a cross around your neck! Many think that bearing your cross is wearing a necklace.
Even Paul, as he talked to the Romans in chapter 12, was talking about the cross, about us becoming a living sacrifice. Eat His flesh. Eat His word. The perfect will of God is revealed on the cross. Do it, Jesus, you will rise again! Do it, Brother, you will rise again! Do it, Sister, you will rise again! Jesus made the cross His whole ministry, and we must do the cross our whole life! The cross is where you will rise above every earthly circumstance and trial.
Talent without the anointing encourages the flesh, but gifts with the anointing encourage the Spirit! The cross breaks me free out of my flesh! Only through the cross can you live in peace with all men. Fall in love with the cross, and you will not be crossed out of any book of life.
Father, we honor your cross today. Father, I am alive because of your cross. Father, I have a hard head but I need to get to the cross. I need to eat the whole part of you, all of your sayings! Father, there are so many struggles because I have been loving my own life. I am confused. And God is saying to you, today: Just pick up your cross, today!
Father, we are committed to your voice and we will drink your blood! On the cross, you can hear Him clearly. All carnal things die on the cross. Father, increase the love for your cross. We chose to deny ourselves, and we want to see our resurrection day, today! I say to my flesh, today, “Get behind me, flesh!” I will go to the cross and be resurrected at His image! Father, we want to believe that we will rise again! This is the best motivational message ever! To the cross, here we go, we live and have our being! To the cross, here we go, we will RISE!
Shane W Roessiger
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