(Mark 8:34) "And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

The song, "If Jesus Goes With Me," is found in several hymn books. The song declares that we will bear His cross hence we hear preachers preaching about and people talking about bearing the cross of Jesus. But nowhere in all the scriptures does Christ teach us that we are to bear His cross. The cross He bore was not just the wooden stake He would soon occupy, but all the humiliation, shame and reproach along with the pain and suffering he would experience were a part of that burden. It was the culmination of His mediatorship for mankind. No one could bear His cross but Him.

He tells the people and his disciples, specifically, that they, too, have a cross to bear so they must take up THEIR cross and follow Him. That cross would consist of a total commitment unto Him. It would consist of denying self and putting following Him first in their lives. It might even cost them their lives. "... whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it" (Mark 8:38).

The "whosoever" includes us today. We are to take up OUR cross and follow Him. That cross is to consider Him and His words first in every thing we do or say. It may cost us some friends and cost us some time and some questionable pleasures but it will not cost us our lives as it did Him and some of them. But it will require us to publicly confess him on many occasions. The burden of OUR cross will be light as compared to the cross He bore for us.

"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels" (John 8:38).

Return to the Daily Devotions index