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. Bill and Wife. says:


    A sign that sooner or later we all are going to die!

    Go to a cemetery! What do you see at the grave yard? You see crosses! To bear your cross is preparing for your death. The cross means to die to everything! As C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity said:” We must submit to death. (This is the Cold Blooded Reality of the Cross and Death. No wonder Christ followers are so few? Hello?) Death of our wishes and hopes. And finally death of your BODY in the end which leads to eternal life. Where the body goes after death in the grave and the cross planted at our grave site. And the hope of Eternal His Eternal Rest which is found in the cross after we go through the suffering and misery!

  2. Reba Duren says:

    Thank you for this great truth. As I was reading Matthew 11, I came to Verse 38 and did not fully understand the meaning of ‘taking up my cross.’ Your answer makes Jesus command abundantly clear. Thank you.

  3. Tony arzate says:

    May God ,our father, bless who wrote this passage. For he/she is spreading the word of our Father.


    ‘To carry the cross’ means: 1- To identify with Christ(dying with Christ daily and learning more of Him) and the demands of christianity. 2- Renunciation of self. 3-Total abandonment 4-The sufferings and pains we must pay.

  5. Funke Fagun says:

    Until am able to give all my burden to Christ in exchange for His cross in prayer and faith I might not be able to carry my cross everyday as I ought to. When seek the Lord and in onee mind find the Lord and leave my request at his feet

  6. frank kiri says:

    this has really showed me the purpose and duty in life.

  7. Abinye Allison says:

    If we do not empty ourselves before the Lord Jesus Christ how can he fill us. If we cannot carry our cross to follow Him, it means we are not really for Him.Jesus want to see that we throw away our mind, thought,understanding and human nature, so that He fill us with spiritual and heavenly nature which will enable us flow in the sea of life. Note, Psa 127:1 say unless the Lord build the house, it builders work in vain. Until we surrender to Jesus as our Lord and saviour, we will still be confused in life.

  8. Peggy Turner says:

    Thank you for your answer, I think I knew the answer, now I just need to take up my cross and follow Jesus

  9. Clive says:

    He actually set the example of his own impending death, IE:
    He spoke the truth, healed the sick, expelled demons raised the dead and preached the good news of God’s kingdom. (Daniel 2:44)

    Despite these merciful deeds, he was tortured and put to death.

    He was telling us not to afraid of speaking the truth – even if it meant that we would have to endure the same things.

    There were, and will be individuals who endured, and are prepared for this from shortly after Jesus death right until our present day. (Matthew 10:16-22)

  10. Clourse says:

    Than You, I believe you have answered my question.God bless you.