To Take Up Your Cross

Pastor Larry Siekawitch   4/10/2013

Pastor Larry Siekawitch is the Senior Pastor at Harvest Fellowship Church in Sauk Rapids, MN.

What does it mean to take up your cross? At the time Jesus spoke of taking up your cross (Luke 9:23), the cross was the most gruesome form of execution practiced by the Romans.

It was not done on Roman citizens because it was so torturous.

To take up your cross meant to be willing to die to yourself for the cause of Christ, to be willing to submit to the most gruesome torture if that is what it would take to follow Jesus; it was absolute surrender to the will of God.

To take up your cross was the opposite of today’s Me centered Christianity that often is simply a selfish expression of the world’s theology.

If we are not a counterculture that sometimes counters our culture’s ethics and lifestyle (in love of course), even resulting in persecution at times, we are probably not following Christ (See 2 Timothy 3:12 and the Sermon on the Mount). Some say we cannot counter our culture’s ethics in love. I disagree.

William Carey countered the Hindu culture when he spoke out against burning the wife alive with the husband when the husband died. He was persecuted for it, but he was eventually vindicated and the practice was stopped.

By the way, this is a great example that teaches that ethics are not relative to one’s culture. It is absolutely wrong in all cultures and at all times to burn the wife alive with her dead husband. Ethics are absolute because God doesn’t change, and He is the source of true ethics.

Jesus took up His cross for us so that our sins could be forgiven. Now He calls us to follow Him, not question, relative or disregard His Word for our own selfish desires.

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