Luke 9:23, And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Matthew 16:24 and Mark 8:34 also records same where Luke records daily. Ancient practice of crucifixion was Roman method of execution.
Taking up the cross refers to denying ourself, our greeds and foolish needs and following Christ in all cases, where Christ died for our sin on cross to pay ransom for our sins to God (father).
Christians some times refers taking up the cross to burdens like sickness, poverty, etc.. does it means taking up the cross? well bible says such things are anxiousness and worries. Scripture clarifies not to be anxious for any thing, as worries and anxiousness defiles Christliness and therefore it is considered as Sin, which is a serious problem.
The Lord had a different perspective than our’s as God declares your ways are not mine ways. Jesus saw everything from heaven’s point of view.
To take up the cross means to deliberately choose the kind of life Christ lived. This involves:
- The opposition of loved ones.
- The reproach of the world.
- Forsaking family and house and lands and the comforts of this life.
- Complete dependence on God.
- Obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
- Proclamation of an unpopular message.
- A pathway of loneliness.
- Organized attacks from established religious leaders.
- Suffering for righteousness’ sake.
- Slander and shame.
- Pouring out one’s life for others.
- Death to self and to the world.
Which means finding the reason for our existence and it’s eternal reward. Our minds are reluctant to believe that this could be God’s will for us. Yet the words of Christ “If anyone desires to come after Me” mean that nobody is excused and nobody is excepted.
Following Jesus means willing to die for him daily in this world for Christ sake, dying is not literally taking the cross but it is consciously dying everyday to this world and live life in Christ by denying lust, temptation, worries, and any fleshly desires, but to live to Glorify God in all our works and being perfect example of Christ like living to others as testimony.
Galatians 5:24, But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.