Art by Patrick Murphy
The following is a meditation on Luke 9:23-24 from my personal journal.
“If anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will save it” (Luke 9:23-24).
To deny myself is to say, “I do not know him” of myself just as Peter said, “I do not know Him” when he denied Jesus. To take up the cross is to embrace my own execution. Following Jesus means following Christ who lives in me. We no longer know Jesus after the flesh so it isn’t Jesus of Nazareth we follow but the Son of God living in us (2 Cor. 5:16; Gal. 2:20). “Life” in these verses is “soul.” Soul is the life I have myself. It is me.
“If anyone wants to come with me, he must not know himself, embrace his execution, and follow my life within. For whoever wants to save himself will lose himself, but whoever loses himself because of me will save himself.”
I cannot just lose myself. Purpose isn’t found in simply losing myself. Losing myself must be a by-product of following Christ within. Knowing Him causes me not to know myself. Following Christ in me causes me to embrace my execution. It is for Him within I lose myself.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ” (Php. 3:8).