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. Katie Cargill says:

    So glad to get this answer. My sister and wanted to know exactly, and I was wrong. Thanks!

  2. calvinking says:

    blessing & Inspirational

  3. DAVID SAMUEL says:

    Thanks for your nice answer.

    Please read Phi 3: 10 – 21. Especially read verse 14 and 18 . Can we say a person’s calling is his cross ?

    1. Eturnaly4u says:

      Thank you for sharing the Philippions verse also. Both were very helpful! Thanks for the explanation and blessings! 🙂

  4. phelip jailos says:

    In jesus name I thank you for your explanation..!!!

  5. Tim Carroll says:

    Thank you for such a clear and helpful explanation/opinion of this scripture. Very helpful!

  6. Floyd Schell, Jr. says:

    I appreciate this simple explanation. Been a Christian a long time but still struggle with what, who, where and how to deny myself and what cross I need to take up. This makes sense. Maybe I am trying too hard to figure out the details when all I really need to do is trust Him and do what I know is right. Thanks and God bless!

  7. Patience Prence, author SCARS: An End-Times Novel says:

    Jesus meant when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me,’ He meant be willing to die when you follow Him, surrender yourself.

  8. Eric says:

    Does this mean we go about our daily lives as normal but realize by giving ourselves to Jesus that he might take us in another direction (serving others) and we should be open to this?

    1. Fran says:

      When we follow Jesus, we want to serve Him. When we serve Him, He may sometimes lead us to serve those around us. Example: Serving in the deaf ministry, the worship ministry, the children’s ministry etc… Through serving and reaching out to them, we serve God too. And when we serve our pre-believing friends, by showing them love that God has first given to us (through sacrificing his only son, Jesus, to die for our sins and giving us a way to reach God himself), we serve God too, as we point others to Christ and win them to Christ!

  9. Philip says:

    Does this also mean to forsake worldly sinful desires , to crucify the daily, sometimes hourly

  10. Philip says:

    Does this also means to put to death our worldly desires, that is sin?

    1. Robin says:

      Yes we do put to death worldly sin cause sin separates us from God..