23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
This famous quote of Jesus contains an amazing truth – losing my life equals saving my life. Perhaps this could be summed up as sacrifice yourself and find yourself.
The Message translation of v24 makes it clear – “Self help is no help at all. Self sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.” Rather than trying to reinvent myself, or trying to be someone I am not to get the blessing of God (eg. Esau trying to be Jacob to get Isaacs’s blessing), Jesus says give up yourself to God. I notice this sacrifice is:
Our example is Jesus, who sacrificed himself for us. He trusted God the Father that this sacrifice was what was needed and had purpose. This sacrifice was his purpose, and God honoured him and raised him to sit at his right hand.
When I sacrifice myself (my money, my time, my plans, my comfort) I rely on God to provide. My heart turns to him. These sacrifices are precious because through then I turn to Jesus. These sacrifices are not burdens or obligations but lead me to God. There I find myself.
Am I clinging to the self made me or the me I think I should be? How costly that will be to lose myself.
Dear Jesus, thank you for taking up your cross and sacrificing yourself in my place. Only when I lose myself will I find myself in you. I commit to sacrificing my life to you again. I want to draw nearer to you Lord. Amen
Written by Claire Moore