And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”- Luke 9:23 (ESV)
Imagine that you are living in first century Israel. The Roman Empire is in control of the area, and a means of torture and execution used is crucifixion. The cross was seen as an instrument of torture and death, and was highly feared. Then out of nowhere you hear Jesus say “Take up your cross and follow me.” It was a frightening proposition, because Jesus is asking us to deny ourselves. In other words, Christ is asking us to become disciples.
In our culture the cross is something cool. It is on T-shirts, and worn as jewelry, but in ancient times it was feared. The early Christians died for what the cross had come to mean. They died because they were…
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