|| Bible Question: What
does it mean to "take up your cross and follow Me"?
Bible Answer: "Take
up your cross and follow Me!" These are Jesus' words from Mark
Peter has objected to the idea that Jesus will die, Jesus has just
rebuked him for objecting and then He paints a picture of a man or
woman who wants to be with Him.
And He summoned the multitude with His disciples, and said to
them, If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (NASB) Mark 8:34
Jesus says, "come after", He means "to come to a point
of being with" Him. Have you ever wished you could have been
with Jesus, to have walked with Him, and to have spoken with Him?
If you are a Christian, do you want a greater relationship? Jesus
tells us how here with black and white colors.
No! The starting point is to "deny" ourselves.
You want more of a spiritual relationship with Jesus? It starts just
denying yourself. It starts by saying "NO" to yourself.
The word Jesus uses for 'deny" actually means "to say no."
This verse does not mean to deny ourselves something we want to eat,
wear, or view. It means to say no to yourself! This is a complete
denial of self in favor of Jesus. Peter had objected to Jesus dying.
Jesus told Peter and His disciples simply that they must be willing
to die to themselves in every way - including death. The early Christians
did die to themselves - by torture, fire, and in the Roman Coliseum.
Are you willing to suffer humiliation for witnessing for Jesus? Are
you willing to deny yourself sexual pleasure, gossiping, pursuit of
wealth for Jesus?
Your Cross. We are to take up our cross and try to leave it there.
Jesus did not say to take His cross. We are to take up our crosses
- our struggles. The cross symbolized pain and suffering. What a contrast!
We are to say "NO" to ourselves and to be willing to suffer
- He did! How are we doing with denying ourselves the pleasures of
this world? Are you willing to suffer insult for Jesus? How regular
is your attendance at church? Or, are there more enjoyable things
to do? Are you willing to suffer? Even to die?
Follow. Following is not a separate activity. We are not following
Jesus if we are not
saying no to ourselves and being willing to suffer with Him. Jesus
says it is not possible to really follow Him if you are not denying
is how we come to Jesus. We must come denying ourselves and leaning
on Jesus and not ourselves. We are not Christians if we did not give
up on ourselves and give ourself to Him. That is how we started and
that is the pattern Jesus says we must follow if we really want to
be with Him.