“Then Jesus said to his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Some people think of carrying their crosses as the burdens they lug around with them throughout life.
“My stressful job is my cross to bear to make a living.”
“This strained marriage is my cross to bear until death separates us.”
“My poor health and constant sickness is my cross to bear on earth. Even the Apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh. That was his cross. Right?”
Wrong? His horrible death was his cross.
If I look beyond my self-centeredness, I see the cross for what it really is. Death by the most painful and humiliating way. It means carrying your execution device down the road while facing ridicule from family and friends, and then publicly dying the worst death in the most horrible place.
I prefer lives and stories with happy endings. Not public executions. But I should take time to thank Christ for his death, then look into my heart. Am I willing to take up my cross and follow Jesus to what may be the most awful death known to man?