(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)

I have long been intrigued by the radical call to die to self which Jesus gives to His disciples not long before His crucifixion. In fact, it is a prerequisite to following Jesus wholeheartedly.

Luke 9:23-24 says, “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.”

Unfortunately, what we see so much of in the American Church today is the mindset that all Jesus requires is that we merely carry our cross, but never really die. The cross doesn’t work that way, though, and any good Jew would have known that full-well.

Crucifixion always leads to death, and not a pretty one.

Dying to self is part of being born again. It is when the old self dies, and the new self comes to life (John 3:3–7). Not only are we born again when we come to salvation, but we also continue dying to self as we experience the lifelong process of sanctification.

That which we once pursued, our selfish pleasures and desires, we now pursue, with equal passion, that which is pleasing to the Lord.

Jesus describes lukewarm followers who try to live partly in the old life and partly in the new as those whom He will spit out (Revelation 3:15–16). That lukewarm condition which characterized the church of Laodicea is the same condition many of our churches are also in today.

Being “lukewarm” is a symptom of unwillingness to die to self and live fully unto Christ. Death to self is not an option for Christians; it is precisely the choice that leads to eternal life.

Romans 6:8 says, “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.”

The problem is our unwillingness to die with Christ, and if we will not die with Him, we cannot be raised with Him. C. S. Lewis once said, “Die before you die. There is no chance after.”

One of my favorite worship songs titled, “Christ be magnified” reveals the gloriousness of how closely related death and resurrection truly are for the Christian.

Here are some of the lyrics…

I won’t bow to idols, I’ll stand strong and worship You
And if it puts me in the fire, I’ll rejoice ’cause You’re there too
I won’t be formed by feelings, I hold fast to what is true
If the cross brings transformation then I’ll be crucified with You
‘Cause death is just the doorway into resurrection life
And if I join You in Your suffering, then I’ll join You when You rise
And when You return in glory with all the angels and the saints
My heart will still be singing, my song will be the same

Oh! Christ be magnified
Let His praise arise
Christ be magnified in me
Oh! Christ be magnified
From the altar of my life
Christ be magnified in me

C. S. Lewis once said, “A rejection, or in Scripture’s strong language, a crucifixion of the natural self is the passport to everlasting life. Nothing that has not died will be resurrected… There lies the maddening ambiguity of our faith as it must appear to outsiders. It sets its face relentlessly against our natural individualism; on the other hand, it gives back to those who abandon individualism an eternal possession of their own personal being, even of their bodies.”

Everlasting life is the gift the cross has so marvelously provided. Let us not forget that Jesus’ death is what secured that gift.

Death is just the doorway. Don’t let your hesitancy override your curiosity to see what lies on the other side. For you might just find that resurrection life is awaiting you.


= Are you willing to give all that you are and everything you have to Jesus?

= What often holds you back from complete surrender?

= What are you going to do differently?


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