Follow Jesus With Your Cross Willingly
“And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross,” Matthew 27:32.
Jesus teaches, one of the prerequisites to be his disciple, take up your cross daily and follow him. However, in sharp contrast to Jesus’ teaching the soldiers “compelled” Simon of Cyrene to carry Jesus’ cross. If someone has to force us to tell others about Jesus, we are not his disciples.
“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.,” Matthew 10:38. Where is your personal conviction concerning Jesus the Son of God? Anyone “compelled” into becoming a disciple of Christ has nothing to share with others concerning Jesus because he has not had a relationship with the Lord. If there is, no relationship with Jesus there is nothing to share for salvation is about relationship with Christ.
Jesus explained the reason why a potential disciple must take up his cross and follow him willingly. Jesus teaches being his disciple is the most important thing in your life. Does this statement surprise you? Jesus teaches, take up your cross and follow me, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. There is nothing more precious and desirable in this life or the next than possessing your soul.
I have explained what it means to lose one own soul. Anyone who does not take up his cross willingly and follow Jesus will fail to keep his soul for he will become involved in forbidden exchanges and contracts, forbidden transactions.
Jesus died once for all but anyone who wishes to follow Jesus must die daily. Our cross does not indicate death for Simon of Cyrene carried it and did not die because of it. Our daily death is to love the Lord more than ourselves. Dying daily is an imperative for taking up the cross daily that is telling others about Jesus, because if we don’t, evangelizing for Jesus becomes secondary when it should be our primary focus.
Taking up Your Cross and Follow Jesus is not Without Rewards
Taking up our cross and following Jesus is not without rewards. First Jesus teaches, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it,” Matthew 10:39. Therefore, by dying daily we live through Christ for this is a guarantee we will live.
Secondly, there is a reward for the people who assist us as we evangelize, or carry our cross daily, Matthew 10:40 – 42. First, those who receive us personally into their homes and those that receive the word of life that we speak concerning Christ. We are sent with a word, and that word is, repentance and remission of sins only obtained through Jesus Christ, Luke 24:47.
Secondly, Jesus rewards any assistance we receive to facilitate the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Matthew 10:42. This includes assistance Jesus received during his ministry as well as ours. Receiving a glass of water when we need it may seem insignificant but Jesus rewards the person who does this, “verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”
Taking up the Cross and Follow Jesus is a Daily Event
Finally, every person shall receive a reward for taking up his cross and following Jesus daily. Similarly, every person shall receive a reward for NOT obeying the Lord’s command concerning carrying his cross every day. Every man shall receive his reward based on what he has done for the Kingdom of Heaven, “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works,” Matthew 16:27.
Today, did you carry your cross? Did you tell someone that Jesus loves him and died in his place on Calvary Cross? No effort is too small and no attempt is futile. You should not feel ashamed to tell someone about your Savior.
“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels,” Luke 9:26.
In closing, Jesus teaches to take up your cross means to evangelize for him; he teaches every person must take up his cross willingly to be his disciple; additionally he teaches everyone shall receive a reward for his effort, the person carrying the cross, the receiver of the word, and anyone who assisted the preaching of his Word. Jesus warned those who are ashamed of him and his word in this world, Mark 8:38. Are you daily carrying the Gospel of Jesus to others?