Counting the Cost#3. “Take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Lk.9:23).

Counting the Cost#3. “Take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Lk.9:23).

I will not pretend to understand the extent of the cruelty involved in a crucifixion. But less will I pretend to understand the extent of loving grace involved in Jesus’ crucifixion.

My efforts at “taking up my cross daily” are pitiful compared to my Lord’s. To even suggest that I comprehend the depths of its meaning is a stretch.

I say with Paul: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Rom.11:33).

Jesus submitted to the Father’s will that he go to the cross when he prayed, “Thy will be done.” Thus, he took up his cross willingly, and He died the death for all.

Each new day you too submit to the Father’s will when you pray, “Thy will be done.” You too take up your cross willingly, but you die a death to the old self.

Though your soul is saved by Jesus’ death, your will and your body reside this side of heaven. Your struggle to stay faithful is a daily struggle requiring a daily resolve.

Jesus is calling his disciples to carry a special burden that unbelievers do not bear. It is only when we make self-denial our way of life that we can grab up the crosses that come with faith and duty; they are ever before us. When doing as Jesus did, we suffer as he did. We expect to share his shame and persecution. But most of all, his willingness to lay down his life for sinners, is no less our daily duty.

Jesus, The Eternal God, came to earth and submitted himself to the most shameful form of death on earth. In love he took up his cross to do the will of the Father. As eternal recipients of that love, we too take up our cross daily and follow him.

John Staiger


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