Luke 9:23 And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
While reading this text this morning, I realize that when Jesus said. “take up your cross,” He was not merely talking about bearing a burden or a trial or temptation as is so often the reference today. In Roman times a man took up a cross for one reason only and that was to go die. That is what happens on crosses, death, not burdens, trials or temptations but death.
So as I read this morning, Jesus is telling me to take my cross and go die to self. I notice in this verse he includes the word “daily”. I remember a friend telling me about his flight back to Tampa from Chicago. He had been in Chicago all week on business. It was Friday afternoon and he was ready for a relaxing and quiet flight back home. It never happened. A group of women got on the flight apparently having some celebration and they partied all the way to Tampa on that plane. My friend told me, he just smiled and thought to himself, “Today is just not about me.” That was several years ago, and the other day when I mentioned that story to my friend, he said he had forgotten all about it, but that phrase has always stuck in my head. When I am tempted to be selfish, or think of myself above others, I just pick up my cross, put a smile on my face and think to myself, “Today is just not about me.”