Verse – Matthew 16:24-26
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
Reflection – Matthew 16:24-26 – Bear Your Own Cross
Jesus’s demand for the disciples to pick up a cross and follow him was not a literal demand. On the cross of Jesus laid his struggles and burdens on the way to his ultimate sacrifice for mankind.
The cross signified all the hate, vile, and destruction the Pharisees wished on and wanted to impose on him. The cross is the sin and ignorance of mankind that Christ bore in his quest to save us. He told his disciples to carry their own cross and do exactly what he was doing if they wanted to save their souls. He was doing it to save the souls of all those who accepted him but his disciples were carrying their metaphorical crosses to save their own souls.
After Jesus left, he ordered them to go out and make disciples of all mankind. He knew that this would not be easy for them so he promised them the Holy Spirit would come and strengthen them also.
All the persecutions and destructions the disciple went through in their quest to save the world and reconcile mankind unto the Lord was the cross that they bore. They did not decide to abandon this cross and live anyhow they wanted but rather to continue the ministry of Christ and reconcile man unto the Lord.
As Christians, today we must strive to do as the Lord has sent us to do regardless of the hate and vile that is thrown our way. We must press on to live for the Lord so we will save our souls as Christ intended.
I will not lose sight of my calling in Christ.
Please remind me of my calling every day
Let me not be distracted by the things of this world
Let me do as you sent me to do
Let me not dwell on my own desires
Help me live according to your design
Help me bare my cross
and keep me under your wing always