Obedience to God
In Mark 15:29-31 we read:
"And those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads and saying, "Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save YOURSELF, and come down from the cross!" Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, "He saved others; HIMSELF he cannot save""
"Save YOURSELF". Really how strange was to these men that, he, that had saved many, was now on the cross, not caring for his own self. The one that serves himself, thinks it as very strange when he sees someone that denies to do the same. He that could have twelve legions of angels (1 legion = 6826 men), denied HIMSELF, and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross, calling us also to have the same mind with him:
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and BECAME OBEDIENT TO THE POINT OF DEATH, EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS."
"Then he said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.""
Jesus Christ denied himself. He lost his life, yet not for ever. After three days and three nights, God raised him from the dead. As Philippians says:
"Therefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
The road that Jesus Christ pointed is a narrow road (Matthew 7:14). It is a road that someone walks not by keeping his life but by losing it. However, it is also the road of the resurrection. It may be that the crucifixion of the old man, the self, brings pain, but crucifixion is always followed by resurrection. We do not want to avoid the pain of the crucifixion, for without crucifixion there is no resurrection. We do not want to have the old man living in our hearts, but the new one, THE RESURRECTED CHRIST. HE is our ALIVE example and the one to whom we should look at:
"let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."