Bearing Our Cross

So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. — John 19:16-17

There is a lot of debate still today on where the crucifixion might have taken place. The bottom line is we don't know exactly. In their time, it appears to be a place that derived its name from the look of a skull or cranium. But we really don't know. And this doesn't matter because going to this place isn't going to do anything for you. What matters is why he died. But to understand the full weight of "the why," you must see "the way" he died.

It doesn't really matter where he died, but the way he died so that we can see why he died.

Jesus, an innocent man, was judged guilty of crimes he did not commit. He was sentenced by self-righteous and sinful men of his race and religion. Wicked and hateful men took him and made him walk the beam on his back to a location outside the city. And here, Jesus, the innocent and righteous one, would bear under the burden of sin to die for all sin. Their sin. Our sin. Your sin. So that you might know the righteousness of God.

Jesus said in three of the other gospels:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." — Luke 9:23; Mark 8:34; Matthew 16:24

When I read this directive in the shadow of what Jesus did, I only see how soft and cowardly I am. I think about how unwilling I am to deny my smallest selfish desires, bear under my tiny little burdens, and live on his mission, not my own.

But then, I remember I am breathing and upright today. This means I get another chance to take a step of denial, bearing a burden that's a little heavier and surrendering my mission for his. So let's do that together today. Deny. Take. Follow. Submit to the way and you'll discover the why.

ASK THIS:

Reflect on the daily crosses you bear. What are the challenges and burdens you face, and how do they compare to the cross Jesus bore for us?

Jesus asks us to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow him. In what areas of your life do you find it hardest to deny yourself? What steps can you take to prioritize Jesus' mission over your own desires?

DO THIS: Deny. Take. Follow.

PRAY THIS: Lord Jesus, as I reflect on the weight of Your cross and the magnitude of Your sacrifice, help me to bear my own burdens with grace and daily surrender my desires to walk in Your path. Grant me the strength to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow You wholeheartedly. Amen.

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7 thoughts on “Bearing Our Cross

  1. Eddie Ackerman says:

    John skips over the part where, despite being all God and all man, Jesus allows Simon of Cyrene to help Him carry the cross up the hill for a time at one point. Great reminder that when OUR strength wanes, we can have Him come help us carry the burden up the hill the rest of the way, or as the Apostle Paul said, “When I am weak, then I am strong [because of the power of Jesus in me].”

  2. Joe Ebner says:

    Thank you for the book in Proverbs, we are studying it now in our men’s small group. Grace Fellowship Church Oak Forest I’ll. God Bless Joe Ebner,

  3. Jim says:

    Good one today Vince. We can’t carry the cross alone. We need each other to come along side us. Others to help bear the load.

  4. Tom Fredericks Sr. says:

    Pastor Vince, your humility is your strength! Thank you for openly living a life of vulnerability and transparency before us. May the men of God, beginning with me, who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ, forsake ALL to follow Him and His commands. Every morning I tell myself, “I am NOT my own! This is NOT my home!” 👆💪

    • Larry Yurko says:

      Great reminder Tom …

      I am NOT my own , this is NOT my home !!

      Blessings to you & hope life is well in TN

      • Tom Fredericks Sr. says:

        Hi Larry! All is well because of Jesus. This world is a mess, but He is our King! I pray that you and your family are well. Blessings! 🙏

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