Luke 9:23 – A sermon preached by Tim Melton, May 6, 2012, At Surfside PCA Church, Myrtle Beach, SC
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
Introduction: Luke 9:23 is an encouraging passage of scripture even though it doesn’t seem like it. Some things are like that. Some of the things that we once hated, we now find to be our greatest joy.
Squash & Zucchini, Roller Coasters
1. We are not called to carry the Cross in order to earn Christ.
- We should not read this as a “Chronological Prescription” for following Jesus
- That’s anti-gospel
- This is not a “for” Christ work, it is a “with” Christ reality
2. We are called to carry the Cross because we are Yoked with Christ
- We should read this as the “Logical Reality” of following Jesus
- “Come after me” is a wedding invitation – Walk along with me, be yoked with me, joined with me, married to me, connected to me, in relationship with me.
- Jesus calls every believer to live out His narrative
- Jesus calls us to live out His story. He will walk us through His footsteps – Called to worship God, Called to serve others, Denial of self, a Life of love and sacrifice, Attack of the Enemy, Miracles, Sufferings, Sanctification, Death, Resurrection, and Glorification
- Illustration – when Martha Jo married me, she was called into my narrative. She took the “yoke” of my story
3. The Cross we are called to carry is not a Private Cross
- It is the same cross that every Christian bears together.
- Christ uses suffering to bond us together. Nothing is able to bond us to another soul as much as shared suffering.
- The Cross we bear is the same cross that Jesus has borne.
- Matthew 11:28-30 –(read it this way) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my Cross upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my Cross is easy and my burden is light.”
- In order to “Come after Jesus” (Luke 9:23), we must “Come to Jesus”.
- This is Good News – Christ is in the yoke of the Cross with you!
- The Cross is light and easy because Christ will do all of the heavy lifting. Yet he will allow you feel enough of the burden to bond your heart with His.
4. The Cross we carry is a Personal Cross
- Christ will apply the Cross in our lives in ways that will bear His finger prints. He will break us in deeply personal ways.
- Christ will apply the Cross in our lives in areas of strength. Not only to show us our need for Christ in our weaknesses, but also to show our need for Christ in our strengths.
- Nothing is more paralyzing and crippling than when the Cross undresses us in our strengths.
- Nothing is more exhilarating and joyful than when the Cross redresses us in the loving robes of Christ
5. What Jesus did for the Cross, He will do for you
- Jesus redeemed the most despised symbol in the world and has made it the most glorious symbol in the world
- What He has done for the Cross, He will do for you.
- The Cross – the thing that once brought us the most pain, will continually become the thing that brings us the most joy.
Just like squash. Just like roller coasters