One of my application questions says to write a paragraph about what it means to me to take up my cross.
It means accepting my position as a prisoner to sin. It means turning myself in, daily. If I choose not to take up my cross, I'll live- but on the run, probably tortured by guilt until I submit. Oh sure, I'm saved from the ultimate punishment of sin, but I still have to live with the reality of sin as long as I walk this earth.
1 John 1:8-10 says "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves & the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just & will forgive us our sins & purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him be a liar & His Word has no place in our lives".
And so I take up my cross, walk the road & surrender my self to be crucified with Christ. My belief & confession are fleshed out. I am "saved", even as I lose my life. So what does it mean for me to take up my cross? It means submitting everything I am to Christ. It means admitting I’m powerless to save myself from my sin. It means relinquishing control. It means dying to me & walking like a ghost in this world, as a stranger... no longer bound to the curse of sin, but instead bound to hope & clothed in new life in Christ... as a new creation, as one born again.
And I'm sure it means even so much more than this. Am I ready?