Take Up Your Cross

Matthew 16:24
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

I have to admit, when I heard "take up his cross" I understood it to mean carrying something heavy - a burden. Thank God for His Word and the Holy Spirit that gives us understanding. Jesus also tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Knowing that God's word is perfect and that it does not contradict itself, I came to the conclusion that I had misunderstood. 

This scripture is the reason why the road is narrow, why the laborers are few. To truly follow Christ, we must die to self daily. We have to follow Christ's example in the garden - Not my will be done, but the Father's.

In Jesus' day, the cross represented death. Period.
By telling us to take up our cross, Jesus is telling us to deny ourselves and die to self in order to follow Him. (Check out GotQuestions.org to read more about this)

This truth is difficult to grasp in a world where we are deceived into glorifying self. Everything is designed to make US feel good. Even helping others is corrupted with selfish motives. But when we are able to grasp what Christ did for us, the sacrifice He made, the substitution that took place - we not only understand why we need to take up our cross, but we rejoice in doing it daily!

Referenced scriptures:
Matthew 11:30
2 Timothy 3:16
Luke 22:24