An Unforgettable Ride
John 8: 6-
In Luke 9: 23-24, Jesus gave clear instructions concerning becoming one of His followers. He said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.” This is a hard saying but a clear path to God. I have heard a short story of a little boy name Ayodele (A-YO-DAILY). His mother had given him this Nigerian name because it meant “Joy (Ayo) has arrived home.” Ayodele was 3-years-old. Like most kids his age, he loved rides. It didn’t matter what the vehicle was as long as it carried him. He had heard that Jesus had come to Jerusalem riding a donkey. He had never seen a donkey but he wondered what it be like to ride one. When it was Palm Sunday in his church, he couldn’t wait to go to attend and find out what Palm Sunday was and how it related to riding a donkey. But sadly, Ayodele came down with the chickenpox. His parents hired a baby-sitter to take care of him while they went to church. When his mother arrived home she was h
olding palm leaves. Ayodele asked, “What are the leaves for Mommy?” She replied, “When Jesus walked through the town, people waved palm leaves at Him in respect.” Ayodele looked upset and said, “Wouldn’t ya know it? The first day I’m not in church, Jesus shows up on a real cool ride and I missed IT!” This is a simple event in the life of a child but sometimes we forget the importance of the little things in life especially the feeling of an unforgettable ride. To have Christ in our life is to experience an unforgettable ride. To have this unforgettable ride will require that we do three things: One, deny ourselves and take up our cross daily. Two, follow in the footsteps of Jesus and three, save our spiritual lives.
Here is the problem. We fail to realize that we too must humbly ride into the Jerusalem and Temples of our life in preparation for our own cross and resurrection. If we miss the meaning of what Jesus did in His ride into Jerusalem and His visit to the temple prior to His crucifixion, death and resurrection, we will let pass by our resurrection and miss our unforgettable ride.
Here are three ways not to miss it.
First, by denying ourselves, our ego and taking up our cross daily. Again Jesus said, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily.” These are the first disciplines of Jesus. Deny self (ego) and humbly (on a donkey) take up our cross (symbol of death) daily! Surrender to God Daily (a million times), give up ego, personality, things and die (be born again) until a breakthrough comes (dawning of illumination).
Second, we experience an extraordinary ride by following Jesus into the Jerusalem and temples of our lives. Again, Jesus said, “let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and FOLLOW ME.” Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing that He would attract the enmity and revulsion of the Chief Priest, Scribes and Pharisees; yet, He had to “Ride On.” They were upset that the people were crying out, “Hosanna” (save and deliver us we pray) to Jesus instead of them. When we follow Jesus we will have to “Ride On” as well. Finally, we experience the ultimate ride by allowing Jesus to help us save our own life. Christ said, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.” Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem was a ride of physical death but spiritual life. Eternal Life with God! He knew what was ahead. Crucifixion and death! But He also knew the rewards. He knew obedience to God unto death and resurrection would allow us to experience His amazing trip! This is the miraculous journey of our salvation. Death of our ego (old self) bridged by Christ as the mediator of our death. Jesus is our guide to the new birth of our spirit. This new existence leads to eternal life. It is astounding to think that our spiritual destiny, the most treasured trip we will ever take is within our own power to choose.