If we want the values and ethics and life of Jesus to guide the lives of our children, homes, marriage, society and nation, then Jesus has to become something we are willing to die for. Among people today there is a popular expression that we use to express our endorsement or value of something. We will say, “That is to die for.” A ticket to a certain concert, food at a certain restaurant, or a item of clothing is “to die for.” Those words express passion and sentiment, but the metaphor “to die for” has always been the final test of commitment to Christ. All but one of the disciples died a martyr’s death. Paul said, “I am willing to share the suffering of Christ.” Am I? Are you? Is our commitment to Christ serious enough that we are ready to die for Him? The cross of Jesus is not about comfortable piety. It is about sacrifice. If we take up our cross and follow Jesus, it is hard, and it will be hard. We may be persecuted, ridiculed, laughed at, left out, or let go by some groups. But to take up our cross is to die to those things that are false and evil in order to come alive to those things that are true and good. It is only when you die that you know the power of the resurrection and new life that Christ can bring.
– Dr. Tim Thompson