Taking Up Your Cross

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

As he pondered the meaning of the cross, Thomas Shepherd realized how easily we could take it for granted. He saw how the cross was an important symbol. How it represented a life surrendered to God. How believers must respond to Jesus’ call to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him.

His thoughts turned to the example of Simon Peter, who was believed to have been crucified upside down. It was 1693, and Shepherd wrote a poem titled, “Shall Simon bear the cross alone, and other saints be free.”

Eventually Shepherd realized that Jesus Himself provided the most important example and changed the title to, “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone?” With this title, his words were adapted into a hymn that continues to impact lives.

Pondering Jesus’ death, Shepherd reflected on his own response. He asked, “Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free?” He realized that following Jesus means leaving everything else behind: “There’s a cross for everyone, and there’s a cross for me.”

Taking up our cross demonstrated our commitment to Jesus throughout our lives, in every situation: “The consecrated cross I’ll bear till death shall set me free, and then go home my crown to wear, for there’s a crown for me.”

To the world, this commitment may seem unrealistic, but Shepherd realized that this surrender is central to receiving God’s promises: “Upon the crystal pavement, down at Jesus’ pierced feet, joyful I’ll cast my golden crown and His dear name repeat.”

In eternity, we will rejoice and be rewarded for this surrender: “O precious cross! O glorious crown! O resurrection day! Ye angels, from the stars come down and bear my soul away.”

In your life, renew your commitment to follow Jesus. Surrender your life to Him, confident that He will reward you for your sacrifice.