Question

What is the cross of Luke 9:23

Quick Answer

"What constitutes the cross? The requirements of Jesus, that cut directly across human devisings, human indulgence of appetite, human calculations, human practices and habits." {20MR 104.3} 

Bible Answer

Luke 9:23 (NKJV) 23 "Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

Inspired Answer

"What constitutes the cross? The requirements of Jesus, that cut directly across human devisings, human indulgence of appetite, human calculations, human practices and habits. The child of God is to come into perfect relationship with Jesus Christ. We are to be in constant communion, not with our own minds, but with the mind and will of Jesus. To be a practical Christian accepting duties that involve self-denial, cuts across human inclinations and human habits." {20MR 104.3}

"When Christ ascended on high He left His disciples to carry forward the work. However unpleasant it may be, we should take up the humble duties of life. Christ says, “Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Mark 8:34. What is the cross of Christ? It is not an ornament to the neck, but something that cuts right across our pathway. Satan is constantly watching for our souls. He seeks to lead us from the cross of Christ." {3MR 109.2}

"A few words more to the church members. Said Christ: “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” We are not to make crosses for ourselves, by wearing sackcloth, by pinching our bodies, or by denying ourselves wholesome, nourishing food. We are not to shut ourselves in monasteries, away from the world, and do no good to our fellow beings, thinking this is the cross of Christ; neither are we required to expose health and life unnecessarily, nor to go mourning up the hill of Christian life, feeling it a sin to be cheerful, contented, happy, and joyful. These are all self-made crosses, but not the cross of Christ. {4T 626.2}
To bear the cross of Christ is to control our sinful passions, to practice Christian courtesy even when it is inconvenient to do so, to see the wants of the needy and distressed and deny ourselves in order to relieve them, and to open our hearts and our doors to the homeless orphan, although to do this may tax our means and our patience. Such children are younger members of God’s family and are to receive love and care, and to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This is a cross which, if lifted and cheerfully borne for Christ, will prove a diadem of glory in the kingdom of God." {4T 627.1}

"Christ says, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” [Mark 8:34.] In lifting that cross, it lifts you. In bearing that cross, it becomes to you the crown of glory. Life, love, joy, and holiness become a part of the religious experience." {Lt124-1900.45}

"Christ said, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” The cross was associated with the power of Rome. It was the instrument of the most cruel and humiliating form of death. The lowest criminals were required to bear the cross to the place of execution; and often as it was about to be laid upon their shoulders, they resisted with desperate violence, until they were overpowered, and the instrument of torture was bound upon them. But Jesus bade His followers take up the cross and bear it after Him. To the disciples His words, though dimly comprehended, pointed to their submission to the most bitter humiliation,—submission even unto death for the sake of Christ. No more complete self-surrender could the Saviour’s words have pictured. But all this He had accepted for them. Jesus did not count heaven a place to be desired while we were lost. He left the heavenly courts for a life of reproach and insult, and a death of shame. He who was rich in heaven’s priceless treasure, became poor, that through His poverty we might be rich. We are to follow in the path He trod." {DA 416.3}

"The very highest honor we each can have is to lift and bear the cross of Christ. That cross is to all who bear it the pledge of the crown of eternal life." {20MR 62.3}

"Christ has placed upon His church a sacred charge, the fulfilling of which calls for self-denial at every step. When those who believe in Him are seen lifting the cross and bearing it after Him in the path of self-denial, willingly doing all in their power to bring blessing to those for whom Christ died, witness will be borne to the power of Christianity; and in the hearts of many, now unbelievers, will spring up faith in Him who gave His life to save a guilty world from eternal ruin."—Letter 43, 1903. {CME 24.3}

"We are to bear the yoke of Christ, that we may be placed in complete union with Him. “Take my yoke upon you,” He says. When God’s requirements are in direct opposition to the will and purposes of the human agent, what is to be done? Hear what God says. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” The yoke and the cross are symbols which represent the same thing—the giving up of the will to God. Wearing the yoke unites finite man in companionship with the dearly beloved Son of God. We cannot follow Christ without lifting the cross and bearing it after Him. If our will is not in accordance with the divine requirements, we are to deny our inclinations, give up our darling desires, and step in Christ’s footprints." {Ms147-1899.3}

"Christ drank of the cup, and this is the reason that sinners can come to God and find pardon and grace. But those who share in Christ’s glory must share also in His suffering. Shall we accept the many experiences that hurt our human nature? Shall we take up the cross, and intelligently understand what it means to follow Christ, practicing self-denial at every step? As we lift the cross and bear it after Christ, the cross lifts us at every step that we advance. We are brought into companionship with Christ in His suffering." {Lt66-1906.16}

"Christ has placed upon His church a sacred charge, the fulfilling of which calls for self-denial at every step. When those who believe in Him are seen lifting the cross and bearing it after Him in the paths of self-denial, willingly doing all in their power to bring blessing to those for whom Christ died, witness will be borne to the power of Christianity, and in the hearts of many who are now unbelievers will spring up faith in Him who gave His life to save a guilty world from eternal ruin." {Ms43-1903.6}

"Whoever attempts the work of reform will have decided opposition to meet. This work requires self-renunciation. Those who engage in it must bear the cross after Christ, sowing wherever they go the seeds of Bible truth, and trusting in the One who assures us, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” {Lt66-1906.10}
Those who are working for Christ must not try to undertake too much; for thus they lose ground. They must rely upon the power of the mighty One. They must, at the very beginning of their work, renounce self, lifting the cross, following where Christ leads the way, walking in His steps, assured that He is with them as they strive to save souls unto eternal life. One soul saved is worth more than a whole world unsaved. {Lt66-1906.11} ... Christ drank of the cup, and this is the reason that sinners can come to God and find pardon and grace. But those who share in Christ’s glory must share also in His suffering. Shall we accept the many experiences that hurt our human nature? Shall we take up the cross, and intelligently understand what it means to follow Christ, practicing self-denial at every step? As we lift the cross and bear it after Christ, the cross lifts us at every step that we advance. We are brought into companionship with Christ in His suffering." {Lt66-1906.16}

"I see in our hearers men whom the Lord loves, whose faces I distinguish, but something hinders; the cross of the Sabbath stands directly in their path. Worldly attractions are gathering their minds, and through the shepherds of the flock Satan can represent the truth as dangerous and as unessential, while they extol the man-made sabbath. They make an idol of a common day, while they show contempt for the creation Sabbath given of Jehovah." {Ms92-1900.14}

"Our artificial habits deprive us of many privileges and much enjoyment, and unfit us for usefulness. A fashionable life is a hard, thankless life. How often time, money, and health are sacrificed, the patience sorely tried, and self-control lost, merely for the sake of display. If parents would cling to simplicity, not indulging in expense for the gratification of vanity, and to follow fashion; if they would maintain a noble independence in the right, unmoved by the influence of those, who, while professing Christ, refuse to lift the cross of self-denial, they would by their example itself give their children an invaluable education. The children would become men and women of moral worth, and, in their turn, would have courage to stand bravely for the right, even against the current of fashion and popular opinion." { CTBH 66.2 } 

"We are in this world to lift the cross of self-denial. As we lift this cross we shall find that it lifts us. Let every Christian stand in his place, catching the inspiration of the work that Christ did for souls while in this world. We need the ardor of the Christian hero, who can endure the seeing of Him who is invisible. Our faith is to have a resurrection. The soldiers of the cross are to exert a positive influence for good. Christ says: “He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” Matthew 12:30. Indifference in the Christian life is a manifest denial of the Saviour." { 8T 45.3} 

"Like the Jews in the days of Christ, many today hear and believe, but are not willing to step out upon the platform of obedience, and accept the truth as it is in Jesus. They are afraid of losing worldly advantages. Their minds assent to the truth but to obey means to lift the cross of self-denial and sacrifice, and to cease trusting in man and making flesh their arm, and they turn away from the cross. They might sit at the feet of Jesus, learning daily of Him whom to know aright is life eternal, but they are not willing. { TDG 64.2}  Every one who is saved must surrender his own plans, his ambitious schemes, which mean self-glorification, and follow where Christ leads the way. The understanding must be yielded up to Christ, for Him to cleanse, and refine, and purify. This will always be done when a right reception is given to the teachings of the Lord Jesus. It is hard for self to die daily, even when the wondrous story of God’s grace is presented with the wealth of His love, which He unfolds to the soul’s necessity." { TDG 64.3} 

"Christ’s commission is to be received and acted upon. We are to go forth in faith, with earnest prayer for the presence of One who has said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” ( Matthew 28:20). With the promise of such companionship, we are guilty of great unbelief and disobedience if we refuse to take up the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice.... As we communicate the light that has found entrance to our souls, the Holy Spirit gives increased light, and our hearts are filled with the precious joy of the Lord...." { TDG 330.3} 

"The tares and wheat are now commingled, but then the one hand that alone can separate them will give to everyone his true position. Those who have had the light of truth, and heard the warning message, heard the invitation to the marriage supper—farmer, merchant, lawyer, false shepherds who have quieted the convictions of the people, unfaithful watchmen who have not sounded the warning or known the time of night—all who have refused obedience to the laws of the kingdom of God, will have no right therein. Those who have sought an excuse to avoid the cross of separation from the world will, with the world, be taken in the snare. They mingled with the tares from choice. Like drew to like in transgression. It is a fearful assimilation. Men choose to stand with the first rebel, who tempted Adam and Eve in Eden to disobey God. The tares multiply themselves, for they sow tares, and they have their part with the root of all sin—the devil." { TM 235.1} 

"Jesus, by the law of sympathetic love, bore our sins, took our punishment, and drank the cup of the wrath of God apportioned to the transgressor.... He bore the cross of self-denial and self-sacrifice for us, that we might have life, eternal life. Will we bear the cross for Jesus?"— Letter 110, 1896 (KH 289.) { 1MCP 248.5} 

"When there are set before us things that are a cross for us to take up, we can never be one with Christ until we have lifted the cross. It may be the cross of confession, the cross of repentance, the cross of humiliation; but whatever it may be, let us remember that in lifting it, the cross lifts us. We are one with Christ, for He pardons every penitent soul; and forgiven, we are partakers of the divine nature. He suffered the agony, He endured the reproach, and He cried out, “My God, My God, why has Thou forsaken Me?” It was because of our sins—because of your sins and mine—that He was thus afflicted." {Ms52-1905.7}

"He that will be His disciple, He plainly states, can be so only on condition that he denies self daily, and takes up the cross and follows Him. We are not only to be partakers with Christ in His sufferings and sacrifices, but we are to imitate Him in the daily, small, self-crossings, and the denial of personal inclinations." {17MR 72.1}

Key Words For Further Study

"Bear the cross," "the cross is," "what is the cross," "what constitutes the cross," "lifting the cross."