Take Up Your Cross - Luke 9

Take Up Your Cross - Luke 9

Luke 9:23 (ESV) — 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Somewhere between the writing of Luke and today, people began seeing 'their cross' as a burden to bear. The cross was not a burden, but an instrument of death. Those who were put on a cross died.

Here in Luke 9, Jesus informed the apostles that He was going to die. He then left the challenge of taking up YOUR cross and following Him.

Our OLD man was corrupt because of our sins and rebellion. We presented ourselves as slaves unto sin (Rom. 6:16). We walked according to the course of this world (Eph. 2:1-3). In our sinning, we gave ourselves unto darkness, ignorance, sensuality, greed, and impurity (Eph. 4:18-19).

Through Jesus, we can, however, start over. In Christ, we can become new creatures (2Cor. 5:10). In Him, we are transformed by putting off the old man and putting on the new (Eph. 4:18-22). Such a new start involves the crucifixion of the 'old man'. (Gal. 2:20; 5:24; 6:14)

Thus, we are to have died to self and now live for Him. (2Cor. 6:16; 1Thess. 5:10; Col. 2:20; 3:1-4)

Another way of speaking of this is said to be in 'putting off the body of the flesh.' (Col. 2:11).

Romans 6 is a great illustration of what taking up one's cross is all about. It reminds us what conversion / baptism was all about. While God forgives sins when we are baptized (Col. 2:11-14; Acts 22:16; 2:38; etc.), in our conversion we die unto self and are raised to live for Christ.

We thus are said to have died to sin. (Rom. 6:1-2)

We were baptized into death. (Rom. 6:4)

In our dying to sin, our old self was crucified that the body of sin could be brought to nothing... (Rom. 6:6)

Having 'died' to self we are set free from sin. (Rom. 6:7)

Since we have thus died with Christ we can then LIVE with Him. (Rom. 6:8)

THEREFORE, we are to consider ourselves dead to sin; we have crucified the old man. (Rom. 6:11)

Having died with Christ, we are to not let sin reign in our body. (Rom. 6:12)

Having died with Christ, we are to no longer present our bodies to sin as instruments for unrighteousness. (Rom. 6:13)

If we want to live for Jesus, we must die to self. Have you crucified the old man? Have you taken up YOUR cross to follow Jesus? 

Hugh DeLong

(Thanks to David McClister and his lecture: "There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood"; in the 2012 Truth Magazine Lectures: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs, as it provided my thinking on this.)

NOTE: to read this with the scriptures inserted: