Title: "Take up the Cross and follow Me"
Text: Matthew 10:38 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.”
Luke 13:29 “And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the Kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto Him, Get Thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill Thee.
32 And He said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
33 Nevertheless I must walk today, and tomorrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!”
Here we see the knowledge of Christ in full control of coming events. Jesus now frames, with eternity, a picture that Michelangelo tried to hang in the arches of the chapel in Rome. Here our Lord informs eternity, I have come to gather all who will believe under My covering and restoration. Jesus releases the open call to whosoever will, “Come unto Me” “Take up the Cross and follow Me.” Jesus sends the message “Go and tell that fox, I cast out devils, do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” On an Old rugged Cross I will be perfected. My friends will take Me down from that bloody Cross, smitten of God, bruised, wounded, and dead.
Isaiah 53:4 “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Unafraid and unashamed, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, men of renown, lawyers and leaders of the Sanhedrin, besought Pilate for My torn body. They embraced Me, openly carried Me, lovingly wrapped Me, and tenderly laid Me in a new tomb to rest there in sweet spices.
John 19:38 “And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid.”
I will leave my Body There and go underground on a Preaching mission, into the dust like the first Adam. As the last Adam I will go, like millions before Me, and find my place in Abraham’s Bosom, Paradise, Hades, the place of the departed righteous. I will finish the sermon I started on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:-25). I will preach to the spirits in prison the message of Redemption, Restoration and Reconciliation. I will stand up in my Father’s image and deliver the Word of Grace and Faith to all who will receive and believe.
1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison;”
I will lead Captivity Captive, Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that He might fill all things.)
11 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”;
I will prophecy to the Gates of hell, Matthew 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
As Samson carried the gates of the city on his shoulders to the hills of Hebron, Judges 16:3 “And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.”
I will carry the Gates of hell to Mount Moriah in the shape of a Cross.
I will lead My Train Isaiah 6:1 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.”
Through the streets of the Holy City en route to My Father’s House
John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
The Presence and Power of Resurrection will touch the city, as the power of resurrection in the bones of Elisha revived the dead, 2 Kings 13:21 “And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulcher of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.”
Many of the Dead will rise up and walk the streets of Jerusalem and be seen by loved ones in Revelation power. Matthew 27:51 “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”
I will take the throttle of this restoration Train and carry captives from the Dust, through the tomb, through the garden, through the Eastern Gate,
and into the Sides of the North. Psalm 48:2 “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”
The theme song of this congregation could be “This Train is bound for Glory!” I will take the helm of this “Old Gospel Ship” and will fill the sails with the Wind and Power of My Spirit to Sail through “Troublesome Waters” into “Souls Harbor,” safe forevermore. I will return to walk on the road to Emmaus to warm and comfort the hearts of some dear friends. I will meet and show Myself alive to My amazed disciples, including Thomas. I will go fishing with Peter, John, and others. I will set around the camp fire and have breakfast on the shores of Galilee. I will teach these disciples for forty days, lessons of love and ministry. I will lead these faithful ones back to our place of prayer on the Mount of Olives. I will bless them once again, bid them farewell, and leave them with special words of encouragement, blessing, hope, special instructions, and a Great Promise.
Act 1:4 “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of Me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Luke 24:45 “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures,”
46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
49 And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
50 And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up his hands, and blessed them.”
Acts 1:9 “And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”
Acts 1:52 “And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.”
Revelation 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 22:20 “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”