“Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang onto your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for the sake of the good news, you will save it.”
To take up your cross and follow me. This sentence is not one that seems profound because we know the end of the story, Jesus dies on a cross for our sins. But the readers here originally didn’t know what would happen. Jesus wanted people to know then that the cost is great to follow him. When we think of our own lives, what is the “cross” that Jesus is asking us to carry in our own lives? That could possibly be sickness at times, discouragement, financial stress, or some other burden. Whatever it is, we can walk knowing that Jesus walked before us and that this burden will be worth it in the end!
Lord, sometimes the burdens we carry in this life are extremely heavy. It can sometimes be difficult to understand why things work out the way they do, why there is death, and why there is heartache. But we can take faith in knowing that this was also promised. Your freedom, your grace, and your love is sufficient and well worth any cost. But help us Lord to carry our cross well. In Jesus name, amen.