Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
We may not picture ourselves, lovers of Jesus, actually carrying His cross. Jesus had been falsely accused, wrongly judged, abandoned by those closest to Him, tortured and forced to shoulder and carry the very cross that He would be executed upon. He did this willingly and He did it for all of us.
I wonder if the instruction recorded in Matthew 16 came back to the disciples in those moments and hours during and following this ordeal of their beloved teacher? It would have had more impact then...looking and reflecting back upon His experience...and painfully aware of their failure to stand with Him. And this was the burden that Jesus instructed them to carry. It is the burden of a death sentence He carried out that led to exoneration to all who would believe in the worth of the blood that dripped from that cross.
Looking back upon the Cross reminds us of the burden we are now meant to carry the rest of our days...one day at a time.
But, to do that effectively we must shed the other burdens that hold us back. Peter teaches that we should literally "cast" all our anxieties...our cares...on him, as a fisherman would cast a net far from the boat. But this is not a cast intended catch something, but to totally transfer the weights that hold us back to the only one who can truly lift them.
We cast all other cares so that our care can be focused on carrying the one burden that brings life, through the awesome power of the Cross!
"Death is inevitable. Life is a choice!"
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."