As we have just passed Easter, I wanted to talk a little bit about carrying your crosses, and what that means to "carry your cross."
First, let's look at a bible verse from Mark.
"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." -Mark 8:34
As we all should be familiar with and know at least a little bit about, Jesus died on the cross and suffered a humiliating, excruciating death. Jesus did nothing wrong at all, He was a perfect man. He was God's son. Yet, He still died the most painful death that someone could ever suffer. He was crucified on a cross and humiliated in front of a crowd. So what does this cross symbolize? And what does it mean to "carry our crosses?"
First, let's talk about what it means to carry our crosses, or at least how I take it. I like to think of my crosses as my sins, my burdens, the things that fill my mind on the daily, give me stress and anxiety. All of these things are my crosses, because they are the burdens and sins that hold me down and make me a sinful human. I look at it as if I carry a bunch of crosses, because I am very far from being perfect. We must remember though, that if we follow our Lord to the cross, and bring our crosses, or our sins/burdens to Jesus on that mountain to calvary, we do not have to suffer from our sins. Jesus already suffered for us. We deserve the same death that Jesus suffered during his journey to crucifixion and his death on the cross. However, God's eternal love and forgiveness has saved us from this pain, and Jesus took our place on that cross so we would not have to suffer.
We must bring our crosses to Jesus. and this is what He means when he says "must take up their cross and follow me." We must admit that we are sinners, we are evil people, and we must come to terms with this fact. However, we can be saved from it. We can follow Jesus. We can meet Him on His road to calgary. There, He will take our crosses from us because He has died for me and you.
In more simple terms, what I am trying to reveal is that if we turn to Jesus, we will be met by Him and He will take our crosses from us. If we turn to Him, He will take up your crosses for you, and they are put on the cross, where Jesus died. He suffered the pain for you and me, and if we give him our crosses, we do not have to suffer the pain we deserve, because Jesus has already done this for us. Turn to Jesus, follow Him, and give Him your crosses.
So then this leaves us with, what does the cross symbolize? Having already reflected on carrying our crosses means, it should be clear what the cross of Jesus symbolizes. It symbolizes God's unending love for us. God loves us so much that even though he was a perfect man on this earth in the form of Jesus, He still allowed himself to suffer too painful for me to even imagine. He did it for us. He did it to save us. He did not have to die, but he chose to die so we wouldn't have to. He loves us so much that He wanted to take that pain away from us, and He did not want us to have to go through something like that. The cross that Jesus died on represents his eternal love for us. It represents the path that is open to us to find eternal happiness. It represents an opportunity for us like none other, an opportunity to be forgiven for our sins.
God loves you so much, and the cross is proof of this love.
I hope you had an amazing easter, and I hope that by reading this, you are able to reflect on the real meaning of Easter and what it means for you.