Taking up our cross has never been easy and it certainly is no easier today – especially in lands where church buildings are being burned down, and where people are arrested and imprisoned simply because they believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

We seem to need to many words at times today, because people may have their own idea and ideas of Jesus Christ, and we must never move from the revelation given us in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

In Mark Chapter 8, Jesus is speaking about suffering, rejection, being killed, and rising from the dead, making everything very clear and plain.

Jesus goes on to speak to his disciples about following Him and taking up your cross and denying self. Mark Chapter 8 verse 34. (That was among the first passages I preached on, away back in 1964.)

I have never seen a queue when Jesus Christ is handing out crosses!

We have to face up to and deal with shame. We will be ridiculed – and laughed at – we will be in a minority – and we will have to speak out on matters that go against the flow of the cultural.

“I am not ashamed to own my Lord – or to defend His cause.” It is easier to sing than fulfil physically.

If you follow ME the road lies through Calvary.

We see in verse 38 Jesus’ view of society. It was adulterous and sinful then and it is adulterous and sinful today. Some things have not changed – and neither has the grace and mercy and forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ.

You will see Jesus coming in glory one day – that is some incentive. That is a mighty motivation.

You will see the Kingdom of God come in power – and that began on the Day of Pentecost.

This should help us to face the struggle and the battle we face now.

The whole scenario has suddenly changed – there is a different focus – a different emphasis – the cross – the resurrection – the ascension – the outpouring of the Holy Spirit – follows this pivotal passage.

The major change takes place after peter announces that Jesus is the Christ.