“If you bear the cross cheerfully, it will bear you.”
-Thomas A. Kempis
We have all seen them before…the occasional person wandering around, dragging a cross behind them as they testify to the power of Christ in their lives. They use this powerful visual as an aid to their ministry. And of course, they are literally following Jesus’ command found in Matthew: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” But, is that truly what Jesus wants? Does he desire each and every one of us to strap that cross on our back and walk around, preaching to others?
This is one of the verses and commands that is just as powerful figuratively as it is literally. Christ is not necessarily talking about a physical cross here as much as he is talking about God’s plan for our lives. The command is about obedience; it is about following the course God desires of us without complaint.
The Garden of Gethsemane makes it painfully obvious that Jesus did not want to be crucified. He knew what was coming, and He begged His father to take the cup away. But, He also knew that would not happen. He surrendered Himself to God’s plan, eternally saving all mankind. We too must surrender our lives and our will. This is the command Jesus gives to those who want to follow Him.
Obedience is a lifelong commitment. It is a promise to serve His will even when things are difficult. The cross will be heavy sometimes; but, it will never weigh you down. Because Jesus surrendered first, there is power in the cross to carry you as you obediently follow His plan for your life.