Accept The Cross.
Death on a cross is horrific. Simply horrible. I won't go into details, but it is an awful way to die. Most people, when crucified, would scream in pain and curse right to the end. Not Jesus. Mark 15 gives a very accurate account of the crucifixion of Christ. Instead of screaming and cursing and moaning, Jesus prayed at his very end. He said "It is finished" and died with a prayer on his lips. And what was it that Jesus finished? Our salvation! He alone repaired the relationship between man and God. Through his death, we have life!
We cannot be Christians without the cross. Someone had to be punished for our sin. Jesus was the sacrificial lamb that "crossed out" sin for us and died in our place. Every day, people reject the cross and don't realize exactly what Jesus did for us- did for each of us. To reject Jesus and what he's done is no different than what the soldiers did to him so long ago. Jesus is our only chance for forgiveness for our sins- and what seems so easy, can be so difficult for some.
Jesus took our place on that wooden cross simply so that we could be forgiven. All we need do is accept that forgiveness! By accepting that Christ did give his life so that we might live forever, the way to Heaven will be clearly open to us. We could go through the motions of going to church and participating in church activities- we could even be a leader of some sort! But unless we humble ourselves and accept what Jesus did on the cross as personal- as something he did just for us, and accept him as our Lord, then the doors to Heaven will be closed. Being a "face" Christian will not get us to Heaven. We need to be a "heart" Christian, and treasure in our hearts what Jesus did so long ago. What an act of unselfish mercy and love! Jesus loved us so much that he died so that we might live. He wants us to accept what he has given us- eternal life in the presence of God. How can we turn that down! We don't simply turn away a beautiful gift- we cherish it and admire it, and put it to good use. We can cherish Christ's gift by holding it closely in our hearts, by following his direction, and by sharing what he's done with others.