What does it mean to take up your cross and follow Jesus? It certainly does not mean fashioning a big old cross out of lumber and carting it on your shoulders up a hill. It doesn’t mean putting up with a meddling mother-in-law or demanding boss. It doesn’t even mean accepting an illness like Paul’s thorn-in-the-flesh.
Jesus said those words after saying He did not come into the world to bring peace, but a sword. He said them after warning us that if we love anyone more than we love Him, we aren’t worthy of Him.
Yes, the cross Jesus carried to His execution was heavy, a cumbersome burden. It was hard to drag that thing, especially in Jesus’ condition. But that’s not the cross Jesus was talking about here.
The cross was Jesus’ mission. It had been His focus every day of His life. It represents obedience as well as love, submission as well as action, life as well as death.
Jesus is asking us to take up His mission which is the salvation of every living soul. Talk about Jesus. Share the Gospel. Even if it’s not comfortable or easy to do. Even if it costs us our lives.