People interpret taking one’s cross and following Jesus in at least two ways. One, like a man who walked across America, pulling a wooden-wheeled cross on his shoulders. Two, more than one man has been put on the cross on Good Friday: sometimes held by ropes, sometimes by having stainless steel nails driven through wrists and ankles.
Both methods express believers’ faith, but neither correctly understands what “take up your cross and follow me” means. Combining Matthew 11:12 and 16:24 explains the meaning. We honor Christ’s claim on our life; obey Christ’s will in our life; and remain steadfastly committed to Christ’s teaching on any subject, no matter how many refuse to hear, believe or accept it. Even if they harm us for proclaiming it.
God demands forceful Christians of strong convictions. Only then will disciples resist the temptation to compromise God’s word to keep peace with those resisting God. It’s certain
that a weak Jesus could never overthrow a strong Satan. In fact, by his exorcisms of demons, Jesus applied maximum spiritual force against Satan’s stronghold over demoniacs. This was particularly evident in his cleansing of Legion Mark 5:1-20. In addition, as Jesus noted about John the Baptist, only a powerful personality could have expressed his influence over Israel.
While not always speaking of his own FORCEFUL PERSONALITY, Jesus never failed to express it. One secular author noted that Fremont Older, editor of a 19th century San Francisco paper, had such a powerful personality he could be felt through a concrete wall. John the Baptist had a stronger one that could reduce the wall to rubble. And Jesus had an infinitely stronger personality that would vaporize the wall. No one having influenced history as he has could have been the mistakenly-pictured feminine Jesus of some artists. End Part I