Luke 9:23, NIV:  Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

“It’s just a cross we have to bear.” Perhaps you have heard these words before—uttered to bring an element of understanding to a struggle that must be endured. It is certain that none of us know or truly understand what it means to bear a cross, to be crucified, and to die. Most likely, there is no one who really feels his or her struggle is comparable to the anguish of the cross. Jesus encourages us to take up our crosses daily and to follow Him. But, what does that mean? To take up our crosses daily means we are daily willing to sacrifice what we would get from this life, so that others may find life through Christ in us. When Jesus took up His cross, He had the power to end the pain and suffering, yet willingly endured it. He had the power to punish His accusers, yet did not lift even a word to them—except to forgive. To be like Jesus requires from us a willingness to follow Him even to our death…it is the cross we have to bear. I pray we bear it well.