Today is the Tuesday of Holy Week, this week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. In this week Jesus remains in Jerusalem teaching the people about what is to come. He teaches them about what is coming later this week; about His suffering, His death, and even His resurrection.
And these teachings are not always easy to hear.
When someone is drawing close to the end of their life, I’ve heard it said that they talk and speak with a clarity of purpose. I don’t know if that’s true in the same way for Jesus – His words always rang true. His teaching always had authority. He was always clear. He always spoke the truth.
But, there is something about what He tells this crowd on this Tuesday in light what He knows will be happening to Him on Thursday and Friday. Listen to these words:
Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me.
And that sounds nice, doesn’t it? That sounds nice and sweet. But here’s the problem. Jesus doesn’t always lead us into easy places.
Jesus doesn’t always lead us to the places that we’d go on our own.
I mean, look at where He willing went this week – the cross. But He went, knowing that through the cross, our salvation and victory over sin, death, and the grave would be achieved.
And honestly, that victory makes it possible to follow Him. He will call you into places you don’t want to go. He will call you to people who you don’t like. He will take you to places you don’t want to go.
The question is this. Will you follow?
You can follow for two reasons. First, if He calls you somewhere or to something you don’t like/want, know that in the end, it’s for your good. The tears you cry are not in vain. The hurts you feel are not without a purpose. The tough times serve a purpose. They will draw you close to Him.
Sometimes it take a tough time to realize Jesus is all we need.
Second, when He calls you to those places, know that through the cross and the empty grave, you’ve already got the victory. Sin, death, and the grave have been defeated. You can trust that. You can live that.
Jesus calls us to follow Him. Into places we might not want to go. Know though, where He calls us to, He will go with us. He will not leave or forsake us. Today, or ever.
Today, will you follow?