The Crucified Life Taking Up Your Cross

By Matthew Robert Payne
In Luke 14:27 Jesus says the person who is not prepared to take up their cross and carry it each day can not be His disciple. How does taking up your cross play out?

In the time of Jesus, 2010 years ago when the Romans occupied Israel, taking up your cross was well understood. When Jesus said unless a man takes up his own cross he is not My disciple, it was a very sobering message.

The Romans used to save death on a cross as the most brutal and humiliating punishment for the worst offenders. The person was stripped naked and hung on the cross often right next to the main roads in and out of the city. Dying as people looked on, totally naked was a very disgusting and painful way to die. If you were condemned to death on a cross, first you were given your cross and you were paraded in front of the city where you had to carry your cross in shame to what would be the place of your death. The whole city knew how bad you were before you were hung on the cross.

With carrying your cross in context we can now explore what Jesus meant.

First of all Jesus was saying that you had to make a decision to die to self. To be Jesus' disciple you have to decide that your own life as you know it was going to die. This is a far cry from most Christians in the world who say a warm and fuzzy sinner's prayer. The life of the cross, is a life of personal and spiritual death. It is not an easy decision and not an easy road to travel on with putting to death the desires of the flesh each day and submitting to the will of God.

Jesus said that those people that want to save their lives will lose them. This means that the people that ask Jesus to be their savior and never take up a cross of self denial and radical obedience to the teachings of Jesus, die and go to hell.

Jesus said that those that lose their life on account of Him and His Kingdom will find their life. Jesus means that when you go without money and time and resources so that you can serve God with your full potential, that you come to experience life in a fuller way and you inherit eternal life.

Jesus said that unless a seed dies and is put in the ground it cannot sprout and grow a tree. He said that the person that wants to come after Him must die therefore to life and the way others live life or else they can not be regenerated into a proper Christian.

Most Christians that I know have been taught error, and these errors are being taught in Bible colleges all around the world. The proper Christian life is a life of radical obedience and death to self. The true disciple of Jesus finds little joy in the life that others live. The proper disciple of Jesus only has the Kingdom and its growth in mind and gives their whole body and all their resources as a living sacrifice until that end.

Secondly carrying a cross is not only a spiritual death to the flesh, but all the people around you, should know that you are carrying the cross of Jesus Christ. This means that you are to be a light on a hill and not be hiding your light under a bowl or bushel. Every person that you know should know that you serve Jesus and that you carry His cross. This life of obedience will be strange to you and may surprise you.

You might find that most of the people that are not Christians may really love you and admire the fruit that you possess and yet the religious Christians will hate you and go out of their way to insult you and do you harm. In fact the more you live the crucified life, the more radically you obey Jesus and his Ways that He taught, the more Christians will attack you and try and hurt you. This is the second part of the cross as the people that see you carrying your cross will spit on you and jeer you and persecute you just as they did to Jesus.

Do you want to pick up your cross and live the crucified life?

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