“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). “Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38).
Christ died to create comrades on the Calvary road. Calvary is the name of the hill where he was crucified. He knew that the path of his life would take him there eventually. In fact, “he set his face” to go there (Luke 9:51). Nothing would hinder his mission to die. He knew where and when it had to happen. When someone warned him, on the way to Jerusalem, that he was in danger from King Herod, he scorned the idea that Herod could short-circuit God’s plan. “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course’” (Luke 13:32). All was proceeding according to plan. And when the end finally came and the mob arrested him the night before he died, he said to them, “All this has taken
place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” (Matthew 26:56). In a sense, the Calvary road is where everyone meets Jesus. It’s true that he has already walked the road, and died, and risen, and now reigns in heaven until he comes again. But when Christ meets a person today, it is always on the Calvary road—on the way to the cross. Every time he meets someone on the Calvary road he says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). When Christ went to the cross, his aim was to call a great band of believers after him.
*This is taken from John Piper’s book “The Passion of Jesus Christ,” which was later released under the name “50 Reasons Jesus Came to Die.” Please visit Desiring God’s Website for more gospel-centered resources from John Piper. You can also download a free PDF of “50 Reasons Jesus Came to Die” here.