Have you died today?

By Josh Hobson, Student Ministry Summer Intern

Can you remember the last time you died? In the beginning God told Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:16-17). It wasn’t just a physical death, but also a spiritual death. After that day in the garden, when Adam and Eve ate from the tree, every human was born into a spiritual death. They tried to cover their shame with fig leaves, but God made garments of skin and clothed them. In the Old Testament they had to make blood sacrifices to atone for their sins. These animal sacrifices pointed to the day the Father would send His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for all past, present, and future sins of the world. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was buried, but rose again on that third day.

As Christians, we must deny ourselves, “die” to our wants and follow Christ. In Luke 9:23-24, Jesus says to all, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” We must deny ourselves and our wants, our desires, our dreams. We must deny our visions, our sinful thoughts, our flesh and be like Jesus. He picked up His cross and walked that brutal path to Calvary – beaten and mocked, spit upon, yelled at, and crowned with thorns. We also must deny ourselves daily, take up our cross and follow Jesus.

Later, in Luke 14:27, Jesus says, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple,” and Matthew records Jesus’ similar words, “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38). Lastly, Paul said, “I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!”
(1 Corinthians 15:31).