Jesus Christ while on his earthly ministry made it repeatedly clear to all who cared to listen that accepting and following him had grave implications of costs. These bordered on the personal life of the person accepting him and his relationship with others. He spoke of death using different metaphors at different occasions. A death that severs one from every of his comfort, will relationships, ambitions etc. that is at variance with God’s purpose. Consider the following verses of scripture for example:
(Luke 9:23-24, 57-62, 14:25-33 KJV)
And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
I have chosen in this text, to make a few comments, not about Jesus’ statements but about simplified summaries of his apostles.
(2 Corinthians 5:15 KJV)
And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
He went to the cross to secure our lives so that we will no longer live for ourselves but for him. He wants to detect the purpose for our lives, our visions and ambitions. He wants us to live for his pleasure; whatever it pleases him to do with our lives, even if it is at our discomfort, that shall be our most holy occupation; we will no longer have the freedom and independence of thought and aspirations that other humans have. Such is the demand of Christ on our lives.
(2 Timothy 2:19 KJV)
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
He went to the cross to separate us from our sins. He detests sins no matter who commits them. He requires that everyone who accepts him departs from all forms of sin. Sin is not to be toyed with. It matters even if it looks insignificant; even if one can escape without being noticed. It is grave before him. He requires absolute purity of thought, motive and action. Such is the demand of Christ on our lives.
(Acts 15:19-20 KJV)
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
He went to the cross to secure our absolute devotion. He requires that we abstain from the pollution of idols. Accepting him means we will no longer share our heart – its affection, its worship, its trust, its allegiance and its association – with any idol whether it be a god, a demon, a man or a thing (material or spiritual). He requires a love that is unrivalled and has no rival. Such is the demand of Christ on our lives.
This generation, however, does not seem to have appreciated the import of Jesus’ words. Somehow we seem to feel it is possible to accept Christ and ignore the costs. How be it?
Are you willing to give your all to him who loved you and gave his all for you?