English-speaking church in Eindhoven

Take up your cross and follow Jesus!

When confronted with the word ‘cross’ a myriad of profound and transformative thoughts are evoked. The foremost realization that surfaces is the sacrificial act of Jesus on the cross. The cross serves as a visual reminder that through Jesus’ selfless sacrifice, the burden of our transgressions has been lifted, and we are granted forgiveness and reconciliation with God. A second profound insight gleaned from the cross is the liberation it brings. Through Jesus’ crucifixion, we are freed from the chains of condemnation and the necessity of bearing the penalty for our sins. We are free from the yoke of guilt and unworthiness that once burdened us.

But, when we contemplate the idea of “your cross” or “my cross,” we encounter two pivotal truths. Firstly, the cross signifies our identification with Christ’s crucifixion, declaring that our old selves have been crucified and died with Him. This means we carry our death all the time. Secondly, the cross signifies the indwelling of Christ’s life within us: a transformative union that reshapes our attitudes, actions, and aspirations. Far from being a burdensome injunction, taking up the cross is an act of partnership with Jesus, dying to self but living for Jesus, and an acknowledgment that He walks alongside us, guiding us through life’s challenges. Therefore, we say boldly along with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2.20).