The Distraction Of A Cross
When Jesus called people, He interrupted their goals, their plans, their life works and their consciences. They came to understand that following Jesus was not a part-time vocation but an absolute, all-encompassing commitment. This explains why on a few occasions, some turned away and ceased to follow Him.
Couldn't have Christ rallied the troops around something more attractive than a Roman gibber where losers ended up? Could His teachings not have been more esoteric? More talk about love and life and less about death and dying? God apparently thought not, because He gave His Son, and from the cloths that became baby blankets to Golgotha where Jesus was crucified, the cross loomed on the horizon.
"And," said Jesus, "if you are to follow me, you, too must take up your cross." There is one difference, however, between what Jesus did and what He expects us to do. It's all found in the one word that Luke included. It is the word daily, which shifts the location from a hill outside of Jerusalem to the front room of my house. It becomes planted in the office where less-than-nice people annoy me, where I am forced to decide if something is immoral or just "good business."
In a very real and practical sense, taking your cross means you are no longer free to decide some issues. You have no personal agenda but to follow Jesus Christ. Your morality is at stake, the way you do business is an issue, and your language, your politics, your leisure, your money and your time all become cross-related.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. GALATIANS 2:20