Take up your cross
The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.” Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. Luke 9:22-26
The death of Jesus on the cross was contemptible. Yet, without it, His grace and His love will not be manifested. He went through all the troubles of suffering and death so He could provide new life to those who would believe and trust Him. There were so many reasons for Him to be bitter and fight back for what He went through, instead He loved, He taught, He healed, and He forgave. For Christ, the cross was a place of sacrifice, humiliation, and love. From the text, Jesus commanded His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him. He wants those who will believe in Him to come to the point in their life to die in their selfish desires and let the life of Christ be magnified in them. This happens when you do not boast about yourself, but in humility you begin to forgive, be loving and kind. This life is manifested when you no longer value the things of the world but instead you promote a life of faith in God. His goal for you is that His life gets reflected in you and through you. To follow Christ and live for Him is the highest calling a person could have. He calls you to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:1-3). Where are you right now in your walk with God? Do you accept the fact that as His follower you are called to carry your cross? Bearing the cross is not considered glamorous in this world. Many Christians struggle carrying their cross. They thought that life in Christ will not be difficult, yet the truth is left alone by yourself, the cross is heavy. But do not forget that Christ wants to walk with you and help you so that your burden becomes light. “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you... For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).