By   •   February 20, 2006   •   Topics:


What did Jesus mean when He said we have to carry a cross? I've heard people talk about a problem they have and say it's a cross they have to bear, but is this what Jesus meant?


No, this isn’t what He meant—although it’s not necessarily wrong to refer to some problem we are having as a “cross” we must bear. In Jesus’ day, a cross was a symbol of suffering, and we all have trials and afflictions that may be very hard for us to bear—even with God’s help.

But Jesus meant something far deeper than this when He told His disciples to carry their cross. He said to them, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). In Jesus’ day, a cross wasn’t just a symbol of pain and suffering; it was mainly a symbol of death. What Jesus was telling them is that they needed to put to death their own plans and desires, and then turn their lives over to Him and do His will every day.

You see, Jesus doesn’t simply call us to believe that He existed, or even to believe that He can save us. He calls on us to commit our whole lives to Him—to trust Him alone for our salvation, and then to follow Him as His disciples. He said, “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27).

Is Christ the master of your life? Have you put to death your own plans and committed yourself to His will for your life? Don’t be satisfied with anything less, for there is no greater joy in life than following Christ every day.

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  1. Franklin says:

    I have read this scripture over and over. As a matter of fact, it was the center of my devotion today; but I like the way you have explained it in such a simple yet a deeper way keeping all meats attached to it. God bless you for the work you do.

  2. Linda Gilbert says:


  3. Don C. Day Sr. says:

    Very helpful.

  4. Godsent Monday says:

    Thanks, I am so blessed.

  5. Joyce Monare says:

    Who ever loses his life for Christ sake shall be saved

  6. Lisa Nelson says:

    I looked at about 10 different answers as to what it means to carry your cross. It wasn’t till I saw your answer, I saw, of course, that’s what it means. Thank you

    1. Bill Pickersgill says:

      Not so, it means what it says, every one or most will have a problem that will seem or be like being nailed to a cross plain and simple, it will be like going thru death, that is why Christ said take up your cross.