The cross is the most significant symbol known to man. Its inference as a sign or token of power, majesty, forgiveness and offense is the most highly recognized in the world. In Luke 9:23'...and He said to them all, If any one will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me; ... and whoever does not carry his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple (Luke 14:27) Thankfully there is no implication that the cross we must bear resembles that which Jesus bore for us.
The power of God in that most paltry of particles (sand) created by God has as an inherent quality a power and ability beyond the scope of human understanding. God's willingness to prevail at any cost over the powers of this world and age is clearly evident in the cross. Philippians 2:8'...being found in appearance as man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.' 1 Corinthians 1:18 '...for the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.'
Somewhere in the context of these verses Jesus addresses the issue of our responsibility to the cross. The command is simple, 'take up your cross and follow me'. What does my cross look like? It is different than yours or ours corporately. Simply it is the cost of my daily walk with Jesus. There are those things that have to be done by me to ensure the purity of my existence in the Kingdom of God. The counting of that cost in terms of the personal sacrifices that are made, the personal laying aside of the rights and freedoms which would place me in opposition to God's mandate for my life, the rights I would have to the enjoyment of life, the things that I deem as essential to my understanding or lustful intent contrary to God's defining of the 'the good life'.
There is the deeper issue, the setting aside of my life for a purpose outside the understanding of my present thought. The laying down of my life, the offering of my life as a living sacrifice (sometimes crawling & squirming to get off the altar), the preparedness to say "Lord, have your way with me".
The 'Way' isn't easy. Just as any path or road which you take that is predominately uncharted as a route has dangers and obstacles, so is the following of Jesus. He is our guide and He has the map, sometimes we get glimpses of the Way ahead, oft we are told to remain confident that the next steps are on firm footing, or at least footing which we can handle with some assistance. Constantly the battle wages, Can I trust the Leader?, Is He faithful?, Will I be harmed?, What must I leave behind?, Is the gain worth the price? There may be those of you who now doubt the validity and integrity of my walk at this juncture. There are those who will never question, some days I wish I was wired that way, other days it is in the questioning that I find the grace of God the wonder of His love and mercy. With the questioning come the answers and the affirming of faith.
The accuser of my faith is always with me, his whisperings are incessant, but his silence is imminent; his distractions are pervasive, but his defeat is insured; his lures are surprising, but vengeance is mine says the Lord; his traps are insidious, but there is victory in the cross.