What does it really mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ? Is it just about accepting His sacrifice for our sin? Unfortunately, this is the message preached from many pulpits. To state a simple prayer and accept Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins.
It is true, this is a necessity. You cannot circumvent the cross.
Herein lies the issue. The cross is just a starting place, you start your race at the cross, you do not finish at the cross. The term ‘Christian’ was a derogatory term used to label followers of The Way, it literally means ‘little Christ’s”. If we are to be like Christ, let us follow His example! Did Jesus stay on the cross? Absolutely not! It was a necessary part of His life, just as us coming to the cross and accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for us is necessary. But Jesus was taken off the cross, placed in a tomb, and three days later the stone was rolled away and Jesus rose from the dead!
We must never forget where our race has started, we can never neglect the cross, BUT if we live our whole lives at the cross we will never fulfill the greatness we are destined for!
About 10 years ago I was sitting in the sanctuary of my church, it was about 2 o’clock in the morning (I had signed up for the late night spots in a 24/7 prayer watch my church was doing) I looked up at the large cross that was hanging on the wall and I began to see a door knob on the right side of the cross beam. I then heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Derrick, so many think they are following Me, but they have yet to get up off their knees, open the door, and walk through it.”
20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. – Gal 2:20 NKJV
We die at the cross with Jesus, but we are also raised to Life with Jesus! There is an abundant life available to all those who have acknowledged and received the sacrifice Jesus made. BUT it is not enough to simply stay there, we must completely surrender our lives to Him, we must walk through the door of the Cross of Christ.
Think of it this way, someone walks up to you and hands you two sets of brand new keys. One set is for a brand new car, and the other is for a brand new house, completely paid off. You accept the keys, in fact you zealously take them from the persons hands. But then you never unlock the door get in the car and start the engine…and you never unlock the front door of your house to go in.
It is absurd to think that you would receive the keys, but never experience what was given to you.
So too is the life of a follower of Jesus, it is absurd that you would receive His forgiveness, but then never get up off your knees and live the life destined for you!
Many people have shackled themselves to the Cross despite Jesus already doing it for them.
Get off the cross.
Get off your knees.
Start walking with Jesus.