When the cross was taken down at my church after the Easter service and hauled to storage, I just couldn’t pass up this photo opportunity. I didn’t have my camera with me, so I asked a friend to take some pictures. She sent me three photos and voila! A poster.
The idea of a cross being hauled around in a pickup truck added clarity to what Jesus meant when He said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me,” (Matthew 16:24 NIV).
Notice He said, “…take up their cross,” not His cross. You see, we cannot carry the burden Jesus had to carry. We cannot carry the cross that was His to bear. He alone was assigned the task of dying for the sins we committed. The burden we carry is living with the consequences of our sins and knowing we have grieved the Holy Spirit of God.
Jesus went on to say, “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it,” (v. 25).
In other words, if you want to continue living this life on your own terms, you won’t enjoy your afterlife. But if you choose to live your life on Christ’s terms, you will not only enjoy this life more, you’ll have everlasting love, joy, and peace on the other side of eternity.
Therefore, to be true disciples, or followers of Christ, we must set aside our own personal wants and wishes in favor of His wants, wishes, and will for us. That’s what it means to deny ourselves. Hopefully, the longer we walk with Him, the closer our will conforms to His.
So “pickup” your cross and continue your earth journey with Jesus. When you trust Him to lead you, you’ll be comforted by His peace and presence here and now.