The Open Bible Christian Mission - Take Up Your Cross

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What Did Jesus Mean, Take Up Your Cross? Dan Corner Permission is granted to reproduce this in its entirety only. Repeatedly through the gospels we see the clear demand to take up our cross and follow Jesus being necessary to qualify of being "worthy" of Jesus (Mt. 10:38) and to be his "disciple" (Lk. 14:27). See also Mt. 16:24, Mk. 8:34 and Lk. 9:23. This phrase about us taking up our cross has been watered down to mean something less than the high demands set forth by the Lord himself. The correct way to understand Scripture is to seek to learn what the original writer or speaker was saying to his audience. In other words, what did it mean to them at that time, in that setting? When Jesus spoke of a "cross," He was speaking of something the people around him were acquainted with since capital punishment, done in public, was a common means of execution at that time. The condemned person was forced to carry his own cross to where he would be nailed to it and die upon it, while crowds watched. At that time these words of Jesus might have been rendered thus: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him be prepared to be led out to public execution, following my example" (The Hard Sayings of Jesus, F. F. Bruce, p. 150). How different from the easy, present-day interpretation of a lasting sickness or a lingering unpleasant and painful circumstance. NO! This has nothing to do with our "cross"! How could it, since even unsaved people are afflicted like that! In the same book, Bruce continues to say that taking up the cross means facing persecution and death for Jesus' sake (p. 151). Since this is the proper interpretation, then many who profess to be Christians are "unworthy" of Jesus and disqualified from the status of "disciple"! Think about yourself. Are you living with a martyr's attitude, that is, willing to suffer and/or die for the cause of Christ? Remember also the word most commonly rendered "witness" in Acts 1:8 is martyr! We are to be Jesus' present-day martyrs, as millions in the past literally were proven to be by giving their lives for the cause of Christ. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12). Since the sinful world is certainly no friend of God, it will at times pour out hate-filled persecution on us, the servants of God. This is to be expected -- it's par for our course as we carry our cross -- "facing persecution and death for Jesus' sake." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Return to Evangelical Outreach Contact Us Or Join Our Email List Evangelical Outreach PO Box 265, Washington, PA 15301

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