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. Kelvin says:

    Good interpretations of the Word. Thanks.

  2. Joseph Emeka okelue says:

    My our good Lord be with you all ’till his return again to rapture the saints.

  3. Don Beverly says:

    Jesus is my Lord and God.

  4. Sabrina Pauly says:

    Thank you for giving a deeper understanding of what it means to carry your cross daily. This has really helped me. God Bless you! Sabrina

  5. John says:

    Jesus was referring to accepting God’s will when we have suffering. Like Jesus in the garden, we can ask for the suffering to be removed, but in the end we must make God’s will ours, just as Jesus did. This is why while nothing is lacking in Jesus’ offering on calvary, we too are called to share in it with our own crosses and offer it to God, as He did. This is what is meant when the Scriptures speak of filling up what is lacking in Christ’s suffering. The only lack is our part, our offering of our suffering that we must add willingly, accepting God’s will for us when suffering arrives, and it will arrive. Each will have his own calvaries of various kinds and in various ways. Each has his own specific cross.

  6. Kathy says:

    Oh dear. I forgot to include in my most recent post of pain and wow… how very blessed I am. My (our) wonderful, praise-worthy Lord gives us life, gives His awesome love, and His mercy and grace every day. There is Hope in the Lord that can be found no place in this old world. Such a blessing to know He is always with us, and has a purpose for us no matter how young or up there in years :). Thank you Lord.

  7. Kathy says:

    How do I turn my life over to Jesus and do His will every day? I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior years ago; however, at 64 years, single, unemployed, and no steady church, I’m more unsure of His plan and direction for my life now as ever. I’ve become a recluse, surrounded by my own doubt and uncertainty. BUT I’m believing the Lord will bring me through and show me His purpose and direction for my life. Praying for His wisdom. Blessings.

  8. Rosie Tan says:

    I’m glad I found this site for the meaning of “to carry a cross.” Thank you.