What Does Take up Your Cross Mean?
Jesus teaches, he that does not take up his cross, and follow me, is not worthy of me, Matthew 10:38. Jesus also teaches, to be his disciple each person must fulfill two main requirements. First, “let him deny himself.” Second, “take up his cross” then follow me, Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34: 10:21 and Luke 9:23.
According to the Scriptures, Matthew 16:21-28; Mark 8:34-38; 10:17-27 and Luke 9:23-27, your cross is to carry the Gospel of Jesus Christ daily to others. The gospel is liken to a cross because many persons are “ashamed” of Jesus Christ and his ”words” . They are ashamed to tell others about Jesus Christ, Mark 9:26 : 8:38. It is a burden to them.
But Jesus says, whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels, Mark 8:38.
I was ashamed to tell others about Christ or even to speak his Words but Jesus has helped me to get over that obstacle. Have you ever been ashamed of Jesus Christ?
Open Invitation to All to Follow Jesus
The call by Jesus to take up your cross and follow him is an open invitation to everyone. When Jesus teaches if “any man” or “whosoever” will follow me, he is issuing an open invitation to everybody to be his disciple.
How To Take Up Your Cross
Jesus’ first requirement to follow him is self denial. According to Scriptures, what really does this mean?
- Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”, Matthew 22:36-40.
To deny oneself and follow Jesus is to love him with our entire being: with our heart, soul and mind, above everyone and everything else, even above self. It is only my loving Jesus above everyone else will we be able to deny ourselves. It is at this point in time that we are en-powered to love Jesus above family and relatives, Matthew 10:37. So to deny your self is to embrace you are God’s and not your own.
You Are Lacking One Thing: Take up Your Cross
In Mark 10:21-22, Jesus told the rich young ruler, you are “lacking one thing”, self denial. This young man lived a good,upright and moral life. He kept the commandments since he was a youth but he lacked self denial. He loved his wealth more than Christ. He refused to deny himself for the Scripture say ” he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” Anyone who wishes to be a disciple of Jesus must be willing to give up ALL to follow Jesus. Willing to give up wealth, family, relatives and self for the gospel and follow Jesus Christ.
Failure To Take Up Your Cross
Finally, having denied yourself – that is love Jesus above self and all others - take up your cross – that is, to tell others about Jesus and his teachings, you are qualified as a disciple. If you love Jesus you will obey all his words. If one fails to take up his cross and follow Jesus he is “not worthy” of Jesus Christ, Matthew 10:37 -38. He who fails to take up his cross and follow Jesus “cannot” be his disciple, Luke 14:27. To take up your cross and follow Jesus is to daily deny self and daily tell others about Jesus and his Words, Luke 9:23.
- Further Reading(s):-
The Gospel Way says, “taking up your cross” refers to giving your whole life to God, as Jesus was about to give His life for us.”
- Acts 17:11 Bible Study , calls self denial “Death to Self.”
- According to Got Questions.org “Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus.
- Reformedreader.org writes, the taking up of a cross is mortal. It is deadly. Death on the cross may be very slow, but a cross has one objective―it ruthlessly intends to bring death to self.”
- Worldinvisible.com states: “Taking up of the cross meant: ’I am to feel that my life is under sentence of death, and that under the consciousness of this sentence I must constantly surrender my flesh, my sinful nature, to death.’”
Take up Thy Cross a hymn.
- Dan Corner of Evangelicaloutreach.org writes: ”taking up the cross means facing persecution and death for Jesus’ sake.”
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