I had an interesting conversation with an individual the other day. He insisted that Jesus’ call to carry our own cross and follow Him was Jesus telling those who would follow Him that they must work for their salvation, and if you didn’t work hard enough, or didn’t have enough sacrifice in your life, then you would not be saved!
Frankly, when Jesus tells them that they must pick up their own cross and follow Him, in Luke…
(Luke 9:23-24 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.)
…What is being said here isn’t about working for it, it is about dying to the sinful man, giving up seeking after worldly things, and instead seeking after Jesus. Which is why the Apostle Paul says, in Romans 6
(Romans 6:5-14 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.)
The daily cross represents our death to our old self, NOT works to earn/keep salvation! Salvation is a FREE GIFT FROM GOD!! Did you get that, FREE GIFT FROM GOD!
(Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.)…
(Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.)…
(Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.)
The Gospel is very simple, yet so very profound!
It is that Jesus came as the Christ, died on the cross, and rose from the grave! And whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life!
Trust in the saving grace of Jesus, not in your ability to do or not do!