As we look towards Good Friday, we may remember what Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’. What might this mean for us? It is a powerful indication that we should not put ourselves first. In his own case, Jesus ‘took up the cross’ by accepting the brutal execution practised in the Roman Empire, crucifixion. His teaching challenged the civil and the religious authorities of his time, and he was willing to die rather than to compromise.
We are unlikely to be faced with such a brutal challenge, but there is a lot we can do to fight for our principles, remembering to start by tackling our own failings! We might prefer to take the easy course, to do nothing and hope that the problem goes away. Jesus asks us to take his example and ‘take up our cross’.
Here is this week’s short prayer:
Lord Jesus, help us to remember the agony you suffered in order to follow God’s way. May we follow your teaching and stand up for what is right. Amen.