Jesus Speaks about His Suffering and Death
(Matthew 16.21-28; Luke 9.22-27)
31 Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him. He said, “The nation's leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make the Son of Man suffer terribly. He will be rejected and killed, but three days later he will rise to life.”
32 Then Jesus explained clearly what he meant.
Peter took Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that.
33 But when Jesus turned and saw the disciples, he corrected Peter. He said to him, “Satan, get away from me! You are thinking like everyone else and not like God.”
34 Jesus then told the crowd and the disciples to come closer, and he said:
If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me.
35 If you want to save your life,[a] you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me and for the good news, you will save it.
36 What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself?
37 What could you give to get back your soul?
38 Don't be ashamed of me and my message among these unfaithful and sinful people! If you are, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
We must never underestimate the emotional and spiritual challenges that Jesus faced as approached being rejected, deserted, and crucified.
The battle for our souls took place at Gethsemane as much as it did at the cross. In Gethsemane, Jesus not only had to face those who hated him and those who would crucify him; he also had to battle his own humanity and will. In Gethsemane, the path that Jesus would follow — the path to the humiliation of the cross — was determined by him because he was the only one who could accept it. Jesus offered himself to the Father and to us knowing the dire consequences.
It’s a call for the followers of Christ to love Him and His people more than we love ourselves.
It’s a call to examine ourselves and our treasures to see just how we line up. This is a passage that leaves little ground for self-deception.
Jesus is pretty clear with His terms to be a disciple.
Through the ministry of our Lord He had a slogan as He went from city to city. This slogan was repeated over and over for us because we need reminded again and again the importance of being a disciple: Whoever keeps his life will loose it but whoever looses his life for Me will save it.
Matt. 10:38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 
Matt. 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Lk. 17:33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.
Jn. 12:25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 
My prayer for you and me is that God would enable us to live in self-denial as Jesus commands again and again.
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”