“If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
(Jesus Christ, as recorded in Luke 9:23, ESV)
The second aspect of the Christian life that Jesus mentions in this verse is cross-bearing. As with Jesus, the Christian’s road to glory runs through the cross. Jesus connects denial of self with the bearing of the cross, suggesting that the cross can only be carried by those who have denied self.
The daily aspect of cross-bearing is also emphasized – it must be done every day!
Many Christians misunderstand the cross – they think of their cross as a nutty boss, an unfair teacher, or a cranky mother-in-law. Those things are not pleasant, but they are not the cross of Christ.
The cross of Christ is the suffering and rejection we experience as a result of our dedication to Christ and his gospel. That thought prompted me to wonder, Do I have any difficulties because of how closely I am following Christ?
The world hated and rejected Christ – if we are faithfully following Christ the same will be true for us. Taking up the cross is a commitment that will lead to rejection and possibly death.