“𝗜𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝘆𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝘂𝗹𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗲, 𝗹𝗲𝘁 𝗵𝗶𝗺 𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘆 𝗵𝗶𝗺𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝘂𝗽 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗿𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝗱𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗠𝗲.” 𝗟𝘂𝗸𝗲 𝟵:𝟮𝟯
When Paul followed Christ, he was beaten and tortured. Eventually, Paul gave his life, committed to the cause of Jesus. We may never have to face the level of persecution that Paul and other early Christians did. Yet the call of Jesus still stands: take up His cross and follow Him.
The phrase “a cross to bear” is usually interpreted as a burden we must carry. To some, it’s a thankless job, a strained relationship, or an illness. But it’s actually so much more than a symbol of suffering or difficulty. Jesus meant something far more profound.
So, what would it look like if we were to carry our cross today?
Jesus tells us that we need to completely abandon our own plans and desires and turn our lives over to Him every day. It means that 𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙝 𝙠𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙛 𝙞𝙩 𝙙𝙖𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙚𝙨 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙧𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙥 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙃𝙞𝙢. In moments when we’re faced with a choice – choosing Jesus or the temporary comforts of this life – the choice we make must bring us closer to Him, speaking volumes of our love for Him. 𝙀𝙫𝙚𝙣 𝙞𝙛 𝙛𝙤𝙡𝙡𝙤𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙙𝙤𝙚𝙨𝙣’𝙩 𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣 𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙡 𝙙𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙝, 𝙬𝙚 𝙢𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙪𝙛𝙛𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙮 𝙃𝙞𝙢.
Jesus chose to suffer and die in our place, and He calls His disciples to do the same. Taking up your cross today means being ready for the hard road ahead and paying whatever the cost to honor Him above all.
1. Would you still follow Jesus if it meant losing your job? Or your relationships? Or even, your life?
Teach me, gracious Lord and Saviour,
that with my cross thou sendest promised grace
so that I may bear it patiently,
that my cross is thy yoke which is easy,
and thy burden which is light.
– An excerpt from The Grace of the Cross, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotion
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of Your Son and the eternal sacrifice He made on my behalf at Calvary. Help me remember that You spared nothing – not even Jesus – to make a way for me to be with You forever. Help me live in the light of the gospel, dead to sin and raised to a new life with Christ. Amen.