There is no religion in the history of the world that contains an invitation remotely like the Christian gospel. From its very inception, in the words of Christ, we are told, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). It is, as John Piper points out, an invitation to die.
This has always been counterintuitive to us. From our earliest years, we want to seize life with both hands and seek to live it to the full. Where, then, is the magnetism in Jesus’ words that has drawn so many people to Him through the ages?