Read Luke 9:20-27.
We see crosses in our churches and on steeples. Christians even wear crosses as jewelry. There is a temptation to forget that the cross represents sacrifice. Jesus Christ willingly died a sacrificial death on the cross to save sinful mankind. In our passage, Jesus made the clearest prediction about His suffering and sacrifice. The fact that He spoke of what was coming points to His deity. The fact that He would suffer at all points to the fact that Jesus was human. Even seeing ahead to the cross, Jesus followed through with God’s plan of salvation. He was obedient all the way to the death, for the glory of God. During His public ministry, Jesus was threatened, bullied, and even driven from communities. In the garden, He was abandoned by His closest followers. Before His crucifixion, Jesus was criticized, accused of demonic activity slandered, plotted against, interrogated, mocked, spat upon, slapped, and beaten within an inch of His life. But, Jesus denied Himself. He took up the cross and, although it was an instrument of death, made it into an instrument of victory. The cross reminds us that living as disciples of Jesus can call us to sacrifice and even to suffer. Jesus went through it all and paid the price to give us the ultimate victory.