The fifth checkpoint is to identify so much with Jesus that you are willing to follow him up to the cross, into death and eventually would rise with him in his resurrection. According to available evidence the young men all deserted him, with the possible exception of the young boy John, who followed him with some of the women at a distance to the cross.
Read Matthew 26:26-46
- How much do you identify with Jesus? Will it be up to the point of death? This is what the young disciples faced, without knowing as much as we know about a coming resurrection. So this was another checkpoint and first one of them and then all deserted Him.
- How do we follow him then up to the cross and beyond even if his closest disciples failed Him? Paul shows us that in a real way baptism is about dying with Christ and being resurrected with him. The mystery is that when I symbolically die in baptism, spiritually the symbol becomes reality.
- Are you ready to die? Even though we know that Jesus died in our place and that this identification with Him will mean that we will get death and resurrection without going through the physical experience as He did, it is still death of the old man and resurrection into the new life.
- How will you take the next step following Jesus? What will be waiting for you then, death or life?
PS: Of course you now realise that at least for you this could be the ultimate moment in identifying with Jesus whichever way your life turns out from now on. This is the point Matthew’s whole story had been aiming at. This is the climax.
We do not know when the individual disciples experienced this revelation. Was it at when Jesus first called them? Was it at one of the checkpoints on the way or was it during a quite ordinary day? Was it during the days and weeks after Jesus died and was resurrected? We simply do not know. What we know is that what happened was so tremendous that the whole world would be changed by their message.