“Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” (Mark 8:31-33)
When the old established ways of doing things no longer works, we don’t mind switching to a new and different way of doing things. In fact, sometimes that can be a pleasure and relief. But we don’t want the new way to be harder or more costly. We want the benefit of the new without paying the price for something new. “Can’t we just trade in our old lives for new – straight exchange without paying a price difference?” we ask.
“He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)
It would be nice, beloved reader, to take on a new life in Christ without have to forfeit the “privileges”, “advantages”, and “indulgences” we had with our old life. But what we fail to realize is that it was those very same “perks” in our old life that were dragging us down! Instead of bemoaning what we have to give up, let us be glad to be rid of the burdens and baggage of our old life, and come to God and Christ lighter and less burdened. The “cost” of this new life can actually a liberation from our past and our problems.
May you, beloved reader, during the season of Lent cast what has been old and a burden to you. Jesus’ offer of new life may come at a “cost”, but it is a price we should be glad to pay because the ongoing dividends will much us much richer in the longer run. Selah!