As Jesus was traveling with His disciples James and John made an odd request: “can we sit at your right and at your left in your glory?” Jesus was still a political messiah to them, and to sit at his right and left was a request for power with an assumption that Jesus would be ruling politically. Little did they know that their request for such positions demanded a death of the most excruciating part by their beloved leader. Jesus answered back with a question: “can you drink the cup I’m about to drink or be baptized with the same baptism?” He was referring to his obedience to God’s will and to the suffering that his future held. He understood the pain of the cross, but they were oblivious. Sometimes I think we’re oblivious, too. To follow Christ means that we are willing to drink the same cup: obedience to the Father’s will. It does not carry with it a guarantee of greatness or of power or of prestige. Far from it: our participation in the cup and in the baptism guarantees a life of sacrifice, of lowliness, and of submission. Those seeking power have no place in the footsteps of Christ because He was the antithesis of power. As we approach Easter this year, how have you responded to the invitation of Christ? To follow Him is to give up your very self; it’s an invitation to death. The cross isn’t just where Jesus went to die; it’s where we go to die with Him.