Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
There is a cost to confessing Jesus as the “The Christ of God”. I think that there always has been a cost associated with biblical faith. The writer of Hebrews describes people who had faith in this way:
Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.When I ponder the cost of faith I am drawn to the words "let him deny himself". At it's core faith is about a display of sacrificial love that denies ones own needs with deference to the needs of another. Jesus magnificently displayed this brand of love when he forfeited his life for the lives of mankind. This kind of love is required to follow Jesus.
In contrast there are people who, like the elders and chief priests and scribes, reject Jesus as “The Christ of God”. These see no value in denying themselves because they cannot embrace a life that transcends death. These live only for today and the profit of it. These will taste death but the faithful will not taste it but transition to a life immortal.
Praise you Lord for the gift of faith. Help me today to embrace faith, deny myself, pick up my cross and follow you.