Carrying Our Cross
If I get a stain on my shirt, there isn’t much I can do to cover it up. Maybe add some water to it, try to scrub it out, or use my coat to conceal it. Yet, there is always some wag who will point it out and embarrass me. I wish they didn’t see it. I hoped no one would know.
But sin is a whole lot easier to conceal, and hopefully nobody ever sees that, right? I don’t want anybody to know I am sinner, right?
Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must… take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Lk 9.23). We often take this as bearing a burden, and it certainly is, but there is more to it than that.
A person who carried a cross in the ancient world wasn’t simply carrying a cross. What he was doing was proclaiming to all those around him, “I am guilty of a crime, and am about to be executed for it!”
Likewise, when we are carrying our own cross, it is an admission that we are guilty, humiliated, and shameful in sin. Ultimately, we show it as an instrument of our own death.
What we do not do as Christians is act as if we are holier or better than those around us, but we instead proclaim with our cross that we deserve death daily for our sin. This allows the world to see that Jesus’ words are not taken lightly. We are sinners. Once we proclaim that to the world, and of our deserved death, then we can preach that new life raised in Christ (Col. 2.13).