George H. Morrison
When the Romans crucified a criminal, not only did they hang him on a cross, but as a last terrible indignity, they made him carry the cross upon his back. Probably Jesus, when a lad, had been a witness of that dreadful spectacle. How it would sink into His boyish mind, the dullest imagination can conjecture. And that was why when He became a man, He used the imagery of cross-bearing to describe all that is bitterest in life. The cross is anything difficult to bear; anything hard, galling, uncongenial; anything that robs the step of lightness and blots out the sunshine from the sky. And one of the primary secrets of discipleship is given in our text: If any man will come after Me, let him take up his cross daily.
The first implication of our text is that cross-bearing is a universal thing. If any man will come after Me-then no one is conceived of as escaping. In the various providence of God there are things we may escape in life. There are many who have never felt the sting of poverty; there are some who have never known the hour of pain. But if God has His providences which distinguish us, He has also His providences which unite us, and no man or woman ever escapes the cross. There is a cross in every life. There is a crook in every lot. There is a bitter ingredient in every cup though the cup be fashioned of the gold of Ophir (1 Kings 10:11). Our Lord knew that every one who came to Him in every country and in every age would have to face the discipline of cross-bearing. The servant is not greater than his Lord.
The next implication of our text is that cross-bearing is an individual thing. If any man will come after Me, let him take up his cross from which I gather that crosses are peculiar, separate as personality, never quite the same in different lives. When coins are issued from the Mint, they are identical with one another. Handle them, they are alike; there is not a shade of difference between them. But ...
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