3 - Willingness to suffer for Jesus  

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16/10/2017 10:43 am  

How much are you prepared to “carry a cross”, to enter into suffering, as you follow Jesus?


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21/10/2017 12:30 pm  

Honestly, I think I struggle with the meaning of carrying a cross. 

I see it often in songs and scripture commentaries etc but not really sure on the meaning


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21/10/2017 1:11 pm  
Posted by: Jackie Eales

Honestly, I think I struggle with the meaning of carrying a cross. 

I see it often in songs and scripture commentaries etc but not really sure on the meaning

Thanks Jackie - and it is an alien term to our culture.

Some commentators talk about it like this:

Jesus then cited the vast relational Calvary cost of discipleship: “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (v. 27). The cross is an instrument of execution. He is saying in effect, “He who does not hoist up his gallows or his electric chair and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Discipleship is a series of deaths—perpetual dying. Disciples follow Christ on a path of self-denial. Disciples embrace suffering as a part of life. As Paul prayed, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10, 11).

R. Kent Hughes, Luke: That You May Know the Truth, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1998), 126.

What does it mean to “carry the cross”? It means daily identification with Christ in shame, suffering, and surrender to God’s will. It means death to self, to our own plans and ambitions, and a willingness to serve Him as He directs (John 12:23–28). A “cross” is something we willingly accept from God as part of His will for our lives. The Christian who called his noisy neighbors the “cross” he had to bear certainly did not understand the meaning of dying to self.

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 232.

23. The follower of Jesus must deny himself (not just his sins, himself; he cannot be self-centred). There is nothing self-indulgent about being a Christian. The disciples had probably seen a man take up his cross, and they knew what it meant. When a man from one of their villages took up a cross and went off with a little band of Roman soldiers, he was on a one-way journey. He would not be back. Taking up the cross meant the utmost in self-denial. This is Luke’s first use of the word cross and it comes with striking effect. Christ’s follower has died to a whole way of life (cf. 14:27). Luke tells us that this is not something that can be finished and got out of the way: it must be done daily (cf. 1 Cor. 15:31). So, says Jesus, will he follow me.

Leon Morris, Luke: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 3, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 188–189.

Secondly, he must take up his cross. The underlying figure is that of a condemned man who is forced to take up and carry his own cross to the place of execution. However, what the convict does under duress, the disciple of Christ does willingly. He voluntarily and decisively accepts the pain, shame, and persecution that is going to be his particular—note: his, not someone else’s—lot because of his loyalty to Christ and his cause. Luke has even retained Jesus’ insistence on making the taking up of one’s cross a daily assignment.

William Hendriksen and Simon J. Kistemaker, Exposition of the Gospel According to Luke, vol. 11, New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953–2001), 498.

Do any of these help at all?


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22/10/2017 9:38 am  

Yes they help a lot.

 

I especially like the bit about it being a one way journey and a daily choice.

(I wrote a reply out with the actual words quoted but I got an error message when I saved it and it disappeared, so I am doing a shorter reply)

 

I feel I have periods when I choose to willingly carry the cross. I then also have moments when I choose to put it down again or even throw it down! I have periods of time when I forget about it then notice it's not there. These times I struggle with the whole worthiness thing as the only reason I forget is I guess laziness when life gets busy or routine changes etc. And then struggle to pick it up again because I feel like I have failed.

But I do choose to pick it up again.


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31/10/2017 5:16 pm  
Posted by: Graham

 

What does it mean to “carry the cross”? It means daily identification with Christ in shame, suffering, and surrender to God’s will. It means death to self, to our own plans and ambitions, and a willingness to serve Him as He directs (John 12:23–28). A “cross” is something we willingly accept from God as part of His will for our lives. The Christian who called his noisy neighbors the “cross” he had to bear certainly did not understand the meaning of dying to self.

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 232.

 

I like this definition best. For me carrying the cross is to give up my own plans etc and to serve as God leads me. I do find this difficult as I so often get an idea in my head and run with it without asking God for his advice and direction but I always come back to the cross because when I do things my way they usually don't work out as I had thought anyway! 


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01/11/2017 1:31 pm  
Posted by: Rachel Sage
I always come back to the cross 

That's a great perspective - thanks Rachel

 


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