Luke 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
This is our gospel, the good news. Jesus came to die on the cross, rejected by the religious leaders, and to be raised on the third day. What does this mean? It means that he paid for our sins in full. No matter how many, how bad or how long you have sinned, They are paid in full through the work of Jesus Christ. Who is this man? He is the sinless son of Almighty God, our Savior. Through trusting Him, we are forgiven of all sins and curses and translated into God's kingdom of Light.
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
What should we do after so great a salvation?
Heb 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
Let us not forget the price that was paid for our sins. We cannot save ourselves. Some cultures have a custom, that when someone saves another's life, that the one saved becomes the servant of the savior. This is what we are to do. We are servants of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. If you will follow Jesus, you must deny yourself. Deny your thoughts and your ways and take up your cross daily. This is not a one time thing. Salvation is one time, AND it is for every day and forever. We can never repay the price paid for sin, but we can remove ourselves from the life of sin and serve our Lord and Savior. We are to deny our self, dying to self and living for God requires that we take up our cross -- daily.
Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Give up the old way of life for the new life in the inner man. If we save our old way of life, we cannot receive the new life through faith and obedience to Jesus. We must die to the old way, the old man of sin and live in the new man, after the Holy Spirit of God.
Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. As dead to sin and living unto Christ Jesus.
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
1 Sam 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
1 Sam 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee ...
A sacrifice is no good unless we obey God. He cares not for dead rituals, for he searches your hearts. We need no glory of the flesh in being living martyrs, but the glory is of God by obedience and service to Him. Jesus paid it all, we are as he is in this world and shall be with him for all eternity, by faith and obedience. We bear our cross willingly, for we are yoked with Jesus, His grace is with us and He takes our burdens to His cross. Give all to Jesus.
1 Pet 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.