Do you like to wear a cross as jewelry?
I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant when He told His disciples that taking up the cross is a requirement to follow Him.
I seriously doubt that members of the early church would have worn crosses as jewelry.
Today, it would be like someone wearing a noose or an electric chair as jewelry. We just wouldn’t do it!
They are symbols of death. There is nothing pretty about them.
In Deut. 21:23, the Law declares one who is hung on a tree as accursed of God.
So being crucified or hung on a tree was a cursed way to die according to God.
Paul tells us in Galatians 3, “Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us… so that in Christ the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Jesus turned the curse into a blessing!
But, why must I also take up the cross to follow Him?
It is through the cross that my old man (who I am in Adam… a sinner) is put to death.
No one can stand before God IN ADAM. No sinner can stand in the presence of the HOLY ONE.
In order to enter God’s presence and live, I have to be taken out of Adam and placed into Christ.
This is the whole idea of being born again!
But, before I can be born again, I have to die. How?
By faith, I receive Jesus’ gift of eternal life, His Life; I share His past, present, and future.
When He was crucified, I was crucified; when He was raised up, I was born all over again into His family.
I was transformed from the old me (a sinner in Adam) to the new me (a saint in Christ Jesus).
Beloved, taking up the cross isn’t walking through life carrying some random burden.
It is acknowledging my Self was crucified with Jesus and raised up to new life in Him.
It is living out of His life in me.
It is living like a saint, a holy one, one who is no longer in Adam subject to the mastery of sin.
Jesus is now my Master, not sin!
Praise the Lord!