“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27
Bearing the cross and bearing the usual troubles and burdens in our lives looks quite different. Those trials in life are common to us all, but taking up and carrying the cross is a privilege which belongs only to that of a Christian. This is how we are identified as Christ-followers.
There are many other references in the Gospels that challenge the genuine believer to take up his cross and, like Jesus, carry it unto death (Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; 10:21; Luke 9:23). Meaning, as true Christians, we must be willing like Jesus to give up our life for the sake of the Gospel. This isn’t something we do once, but it must be the daily walk of the Christian: “If any man will come after me,” Jesus said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).
There have been many Christian martyrs all around the world who have actually been killed—some even crucified—for the sake of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. But for most of us, bearing the cross really means dying to self and our own desires in order to live for Christ and His mission with no restrictions.
The apostle Paul expressed it perfectly when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Therefore, like Paul, we too can say, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Son Jesus who died in my place, so I could be righteous in Him. Help me, O God of grace, to take up my cross daily. Give me the boldness and strength to die to myself and follow Jesus to my death for the Gospel. Amen.
As a follower of Christ, are you taking up and carrying the cross? Are you dying daily to your desires?