Mark 8:34 (NRSV)
34 … “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”
Why would a person take up a cross? It is a short walk to a certain and torturous death. Jesus spoke these words knowing that his time was growing short. For him, inevitably, there was a cross. He could not live as he chose to live and avoid it. He could not be who he believed himself to be and side step it. Jesus was heading toward a confrontation between himself and the social and political powers of the world around him. He disagreed with the piety of the priest, the teaching of the Pharisees, the money of Herod, and many of the religious affections of the masses. Therefore he did not want people to be surprised that something had to give.
John 11:50 (NRSV)
50 You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.”
Jesus carried the cross not because it was how he chose to die –not because he had a death wish. The cross was placed upon him because of how he chose to live. The question to us is not what are we willing to die for, but what are we living for? Aare we willing to live as Christ lived knowing what happened to him? Do our chooses in this life causes us more sacrifice or worldly gain? Do we live just for self or for something more? is there a cross in chooses? If there is, just remember, where there is a cross for the sake of Christ there is also a resurrection.