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Have You Picked Up Your Cross?

July 01, 2023

Have You Picked Up Your Cross?

Have You Picked Up Your Cross?

By Brooke Holt

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:37-39

Both sides debate about the death penalty in our world today. Throughout Jesus’ ministry and when Matthew wrote this Gospel, no such debate occurred. Crucifixions were not an uncommon sight in the Roman-ruled area of Palestine. Where the Persians invented crucifixion somewhere between 300-400 B.C, the Romans perfected the process of crucifixion. They ensured that it was the most painful and humiliating way to die.

When Jesus told his followers they must pick up their crosses and follow him, it would have been jarring. There was only one way of using a cross at that time, and it was to die. Jesus was saying that for anyone to follow him, they had to die. They not only had to die but to suffer physically, emotionally, and mentally. Who would want to sign up for that?

Thankfully, Jesus does not stop with the cross. He goes on to say that those who are willing to take up their crosses and follow him will indeed lose their lives, but then will find life in him. The 12 disciples who followed Jesus experienced life changing truth, vitality, joy, and purpose in Jesus. These men gave up everything to follow Jesus. There must have been something quite compelling about him – so compelling that though these words of Jesus were jarring – the disciples stayed with him and for him.

Is that true for you today? Has your life been so radically impacted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ that you are willing to pick up your cross and to follow him even when it means losing things of this world? Are you willing to die to yourself – your agendas, your will, your timing, your desires, your expectations of how things should be?

While we do not see people dying on literal crosses every day, we are still to be people who lay down our lives for the King of kings, who submit our wills to the will of the sovereign one, and who are willing to suffer and even die for our Lord and Savior.

The promise of Jesus for you today is that there is nothing you will give up that can compare to resurrected life you will find in him.


Today, Jesus’ words are there to challenge you. If you are his disciple, he must be first and foremost in your life. And you will be called to die to yourself to follow him. Yet, in dying, you will find true life in him – resurrected life. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Related Resources:


The Resurrected Life
The Resurrected Life: Making All Things New - The Bible promises that those who are in Christ are "new creatures." But how does that transformation take place? This unique Easter-season small group Bible study provides a space in which we can discover what it truly means to live a new life. As we listen, we'll learn how the resurrection of Jesus Christ changes everything - for us. Begin the journey to new life today!



The Spirit-Filled Life

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