Traveling Light: Carry the Cross

Luke 14:25-33

Having a “cross to bear” has become an idiom used in our society, meaning you have a responsibility or a difficult situation which you must tolerate. This phrase alludes to the cross carried by Jesus to his crucifixion. People who use the phrase in this context are looking at the cross as a symbol of pain and suffering.

But Jesus gave us this directive: “Whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27.

In Jesus’ day, a cross was mainly a symbol of death. Jesus was saying that we need to put to death our own plans and desires, and then turn our lives over to Him and do His will every day. We are to be dead to our will, as Christ was. By carrying out cross, we are living by God’s will and not our own.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20


This brings us to the issue of displaying and wearing crosses. Consider the following:

  1. Some people will say the cross is a symbol of a painful death and, would you wear an axe around your neck if a loved one was murdered with an axe? But the Christian who truly carries the cross sees it as a pardon for our sins, a sacrifice that Jesus willingly made for us.
  2. The second commandment warns against the use of graven images for worship. God is warning us that anything we create and imagine to represent God will be incomplete and insufficient. The Christian who carries his cross in his heart and speaks to God through Jesus, and chooses to display this reminder, is not breaking this commandment.
  3. We are called to spread the gospel, and we advertise that we are Christians when we wear the cross. If we wear the cross, we need to live the cross, walking with Christ and living for His glory.