I like Pinterest. I search it to look for different physical exercises, gardening tips, and other home ideas. I came across one page that showed the world's most beautiful crosses. From the basic shape of the cross, some highly skilled workers have carved beautiful variations. They look great and expensive. It made me wonder about the cross on which Jesus died and Jesus' saying that if anyone desires to follow Him they must take up their cross and follow Him. Why did He say this? Why is this important for a follower of Christ?
The cross was the most painful symbol during Jesus' time. Hanging on a cross conveyed the greatest punishment and disgrace. Jesus went to die on the cross, facing intense pain and disgrace. The religious leaders of his time and the bystanders looked upon the cross and mocked Him. Jesus asks us to carry our cross; the things that brings us pain, disgrace, humiliation.
All of us have experiences, memories, and attitudes we are not proud of. We tend to mask these and pretend everything is ok. Acknowledging them as part of who we are is challenging and feels heavy. The love of Jesus is so great that he wants us to follow Him in spite of all our shortcomings and pain. When we follow Jesus wholeheartedly, we get closer to becoming like Him. He accepts us and loves us, without asking us to perform or prove our worthiness. The cross is invaluable only because of the One who died on it- Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Is there a greater honor than following Jesus?