Do we settle for a comforting version of our faith, when really the message of the cross is unsettling – in hard but healthy ways? Lent helps us to become truly cross-focused. How ought the cross inform or shape our relationship with power, wealth, the marginalized, leadership, and so many other things? How did Jesus challenge His disciples to become shaped by the cross, and how might we do the same?

Picking Up Our Cross

Message by Josh Mutter – February 28, 2021

Matthew 16:21-28 NIV

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


Jesus’ character and mission is lived out through the cross (vs 21-23)

To follow Jesus is to walk in the way of the cross (vs 24-28)


About Josh Mutter: Josh Mutter is the Lead Pastor at Westheights Community Church. Josh is married to Michelle and they have two very busy little boys named Silas & Isaac. Josh enjoys long walks on the beach and smooth jazz – well, not really. But he does enjoy time with his family, spending time outdoors, watching baseball, sipping coffee and reading a good book.


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