Daily Word

Take up your cross | Matthew 27:32

32 Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene,[ g ] and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. 

Matthew 27:32 (NLT) 中文

Road to calvary

Having been unjustly tried by the Jews and now convicted by the Romans, Jesus has been whipped and mocked. He’s now on the way to calvary to be crucified.

Forced compliance

On the way, a man (Simon from Cyrene) is forced into service to carry Jesus’ cross. It was actually the horizontal piece of the cross since carrying a whole cross would not be feasible. And Jesus, in His weakened state, was probably struggling to carry even this cross-beam. Simon happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or, maybe it was the right place at the right time. Take a listen to this classic song about the account by Ray Bolz.

Willing compliance

“Discipleship equals self-denial and cross-bearing. Period.” (TGC) That ought to catch our attention! Jesus made it very clear that His cross to calvary, to death, is the cross we need to pick up and bear. “And the one who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:38) Of course we want to be found worthy at the final judgment.

How?

But how do we do it? How do we take up our cross and follow Jesus? Later in Matthew (which we studied earlier) Jesus tells His disciples (including us) how. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Mathew 16:24)

Deny yourself

We follow His example. He had every right (He had no sin) to deny the cross and the suffering. Yet He chose, in light of His purpose and the Father’s plan and will, to rather, deny Himself. We, on the other hand, have sinned and deserve to die. 

So we take up our cross, which truly belongs to us, and live as if dead – dead to sin, but alive to Christ. Paul tells us, “So you too, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11). What does this mean? “Those who have come to faith in Jesus are no longer to allow sin to control their lives. Instead, we offer ourselves to God to serve His purposes.” (gotquestions.org)

RЯeflection

  • What are the ways you deny yourself? Leave comments so others can gain encouragement.
  • The Luke account (Luke 9:23) adds a detail from Jesus’ command: take up our cross daily. We can imply from that it’s a constant decision. At each decision point in life, even during the day, we should choose to deny ourselves.
Take up our cross. Image from thegospelcoalition.org *

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