We have watered down ideas about what it means to take up our cross and follow Jesus, it is a command, not a suggestion.
Jesus told us that anyone who wants to follow Him must take up their cross, a cross is meant to die on not carry around, when Jesus spoke this He was saying to all, follow me to Calvary, die to your flesh, so you will live.
The things we bear daily in our flesh, whether it is sickness in our bodies, wounds from others,scars from our own choices, thorns we deal with as we are tormented in this world have nothing to do with the cross Jesus talks about when He says “ “And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”Matthew 10:38
These may be trials we face to strengthen our faith but they are not our crosses to bear.
Our cross we must take up voluntarily as Jesus did, we must be willing to die to ourselves so we will live, God's grace is more than sufficient for us in our trials, He tells us to press on with Him and trust Him.
This is the unpopular part of the gospels, but yet Jesus spoke it, and did it, Jesus died to His Deity when He left Heaven's glory to come live as we do from birth to death, He died to His human nature when He resisted temptation from the devil, and when He asked God the Father to let this cup pass from Him, but nevertheless said thy will be done, Father, He died to His Diety and flesh for us!
We don't have an understanding of the cross as they did when the Roman Empire ruled, the cross was not smooth planks, it was rough cut trees, it wasn't something to be admonished it was made to create fear and dread, it was the final instrument of death as a form of punishment by the law and a warning to all who followed the one who hung upon it.
These may just be words to us, but they are how Jesus died for us, to take our punishment, for our sins on our cross so we don't have to die under the law, under God's judgment.
Jesus calls us to die, die to our desires, die to our foolishness, die to the world around us, a daily death, a moment by moment death if we need to, so we may live.
Christ does not call us to die for Him, He calls us to live for Him, Christ does not call us to live as we want, He calls us to die to ourselves. The amazing thing is this, He helps us take up our cross, we don't need to carry it alone.
To live for Christ, we must die to ourselves.
We can't believe in Him only as Savior and not LORD, His word is clear, we must surrender to Him everything, we can't follow Him with our lips and walk away from Him in our lives.
Have you died to yourself yet?
Have you surrendered you're all on the cross Jesus called you to die on?
I want to live in the fullness of God, that others may see Him and know Him that now and forever Christ would be exalted in every word and deed I say and do.
Our families, our neighbors, our cities, our states, our nation, our world needs to see Christ in us so they will know Him and His love.
We carry the gospel message in us, let us share the hope we have with those who are hopeless.
God's word says this:
“Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge me before others, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever denies me before others, I will also deny him before my Father in heaven. Don’t assume that I came to bring peace on the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. The one who loves a father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; the one who loves a son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of me will find it.” Matthew 10:32-39 CSB
“He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. He said to them, “I am deeply grieved to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.” He went a little farther, fell to the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “ Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.”Mark 14:33-36 CSB
“All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” Then he released Barabbas to them and, after having Jesus flogged, handed him over to be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s residence and gathered the whole company around him. They stripped him and dressed him in a scarlet robe. They twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and placed a staff in his right hand. And they knelt down before him and mocked him: “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on him, took the staff, and kept hitting him on the head. After they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, put his own clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him. As they were going out, they found a Cyrenian man named Simon. They forced him to carry his cross. When they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), they gave him wine mixed with gall to drink. But when he tasted it, he refused to drink it. After crucifying him, they divided his clothes by casting lots. Then they sat down and were guarding Him there. Above his head they put up the charge against him in writing: This IS J ESUS, THE KING OF THE J EWS. Then two criminals were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. Those who passed by were yelling insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” In the same way, the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him and said,”Matthew 27:25-41 CSB
“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, make my joy complete by thinking the same way, having the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others. Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead, he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross. For this reason, God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:1-11 CSB
”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 CSB
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”Matthew 19:26 CSB
Band Of Brothers