“And [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Every human seeks significance: some pour their lives into occupations, hobbies, or even humanitarian pursuits. Others wholeheartedly embrace and promote philosophies or ideologies, and still others simply engage in self-promotion.
But the way of Jesus is different. He taught that the way to significance is actually to become insignificant. His way is to embrace the way of the cross and recognize that becoming a “nobody” is to become a “somebody” – but a “somebody” only because Jesus is reigning as King within!
Everything earthly will perish in the great day of judgment. The fame, the wealth, the pride, and the power—all of it—will be left behind and will perish. Sir Walter Scott declared it this way:
“High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;
Despite those titles, power and pelf,
The wretch, concentered all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, double dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, un-honored, and unsung.”
While temporal things will vanish with time, those who are eternal will continue forever. Jesus is the one eternal Son of God, and His way leads home to the eternal heaven. It is only through the denial of selfish interests, desires, and significance, that humans will inherit eternal life. The cross upon which self dies is the only means leading to authentic existence and purpose. The way of the cross leads home!