By: Matt Kruger
In the gospel of Luke we are called to take up our cross and follow Christ. This is no easy task because in taking up our cross we must also suffer for the sake of Christ. Dietrich Bonhoeffer puts it nicely when he wrote that “Christ is Christ only in virtue of his suffering and rejection, so the disciple is a disciple only in so far as he shares his Lord’s suffering and rejection and crucifixion.” We are disciples only if we share in all aspects of Christ and must follow his teachings even if the teaching seems hard.
“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). We all have a cross and we all must pick up our cross. The suffering and shame will be different for each person but the principle is the same. Shame and rejection come with the cross and each Christian must take part but that same cross brings unspeakable joy.
How can the suffering bring joy? The suffering brings joy because the suffering produces fruit that shows obedience to Christ. In verse 24 of Luke 9 Christ finishes his statement with this: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” Suffering for Christ brings joy because suffering brings life. You are not alone in the hardship of your cross and the weight of your cross will not be more than you can handle because you have Christ with you as you carry your cross. Christ calls us to take off our yoke and take his because his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Christ walks with you as you take up your cross and follow. “Under his yoke we are certain of his nearness and communion. It is he whom the disciple finds as he lifts up his cross” (Bonhoeffer).
You have a cross to carry. You will be rejected, you will suffer and you will bare the burden of your cross but you will not be alone. Through your daily routine you must remember that Christ is with you as you carry your cross. Always remember that the cross brings life and death and that the cross shows the depth of Gods love. So take up your cross daily and look to Christ as you both walk together.