Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Nobody but Jesus could die on His cross as He did. He alone was the sinless spotless Lamb of God who could die for the sin of the world. What then does us taking up our cross mean? I believe that our cross represents for us the intersections of heaven and earth, godliness and carnality. And to take up our cross means simply to chose the heavenly, the godly rather than the earthly and carnal. And though it may be simple, it is not always easy. The world has its pull, its appeal to our lower nature, but the heavenly has its reward which is far greater and richer. We die to our carnal nature and come alive unto God. Jesus then speaks the next sentence, verse 24, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." The apostle Paul teaches his son in the ministry, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:6, But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Moses, in his last great discourse before the people when his life was nearing its end, expounded on the blessings of choosing God's way as opposed to the curses of choosing all else. And he ends his discourse with this passionate appeal (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20), "This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life. . . . " Choices confront us numerously each and every day. Our choices determine our path. Our path determines our destiny. What may look like life is often deceptive. We must choose by our inner witness, not the outer eye. And this inner witness is Christ in you [by His Spirit], the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).