We can’t carry our own cross

We can’t carry our own cross. This statement may seem a little contradictory when we read Matthew 16:24:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.


Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If you truly want to follow me, you should at once completely reject and disown your own life. And you must be willing to share my cross and experience it as your own,  as you continually surrender to my ways.


Yes, Jesus did say to his disciples “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”. But, Jesus himself could not carry His own cross, and neither can you or I. Jesus fell under the load of his cross, weary, exhausted, and unable to carry it another step. 

Jesus carried his own cross out of the city to the place called “The Skull,” which in Aramaic is Golgotha. 

John 19:17

And the Bible doesn’t tell us how far Jesus carried his cross, but we do know according to Matthew 27:32 that Simon of Cyrene was compelled to pick it up and carry it to the place of crucifixion.

Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.

Matthew 27:32

Jesus did take up his cross and was led by his tormentors like a lamb to be slain, but he could not carry it for long. The truth is Jesus was too weak and frail to carry his cross, so it was placed on another’s shoulders. Jesus was physically broken and wounded! There is only so much one person can take before there is a breaking point.

Jesus’ cross had become too heavy to bear! What does this mean for us? Why would Jesus make us do something he could not do? After all, in Luke 14:17 he says the same thing as in Matthew, Anyone who comes to me must be willing to share my cross and experience it as his own, or he cannot be considered to be my disciple.

A cross is a cross, be it wooden or spiritual, it is not enough to say Jesus’ cross was different, our cross is spiritual. It should give us great hope to know that Jesus could not bear his own cross. It is encouraging to know that we are not the only ones burdened down to the ground at times unable to go on in our own strength.

Jesus knew exactly what he was saying when he called us to take up His cross as our own, and follow him. He remembers his cross, he remembers that someone else had to carry it for him. Why would Jesus ask us to carry a cross He knows will soon crush us to the ground, as it did Him? He knows we can’t carry them all the way in our own strength. He knows all about the agony, the helplessness, and the burden a cross creates.

Jesus, who took on the weight of all our sin and infirmities, experienced for himself what it was like to be weak, discouraged, and unable to go on without help.

God was not caught by surprise when Jesus could no longer carry the cross. God knew Jesus would take up his cross, head out towards Golgotha, then lay it down. God also knows that not one of us, his children, can carry all the burdens we take up when following Christ.

Jesus forewarned us in John 15:5, “… for without Me you can do nothing”. So, He asks us to take up our cross, our burdens, and struggle on with them, until we learn what the Bible means when it says His strength is made perfect in our weakness. We have one stronger than Simon of Cyrene who will come at our breaking point and take over the burden.

For although he was crucified as a “weakling,” now he lives robed with God’s power. And we also are “weak ones” in our co-crucifixion with him, but now we live in God’s triumphant power together with him, which is demonstrated on your behalf.

2 Corinthians 13:4

Burdens and troubles aren’t accidents and penalties from God, but they teach us submission to God’s way of doing things. Most of us, if not all, are hurting right now carrying various burdens, but WE ARE in the process of healing. Those of us feeling crushed down under the burden of a heavy load – Get ready, because God is about to show himself strong on our behalf.

To Jesus, a Simon appeared, to us a savior appears. And sometimes God uses people. To some our Simon will appear. Thank God for our Simons! The people who God places on our paths, compelled by the Holy Spirit to come into our lives and reach out and help lift the burdens.


Let’s get communion elements ready, read from the book of Luke, partake, and pray.

Then Jesus lifted up a loaf, and after praying a prayer of thanksgiving to God, he gave each of his apostles a piece of bread, saying, “This loaf is my body, which is now being offered to you. Always eat it to remember me.”

Luke 22:19

Let’s eat our bread. Thank you Jesus, for your body broken for us.

After supper was over, he lifted the cup again and said, “This cup is my blood of the new covenant I make with you, and it will be poured out soon for all of you.

Luke 22:20

Let’s drink from the cup. Thank you Jesus for your covenant to us!


Jesus, you knew exactly what you were saying when you called us to take up our crosses and follow you. Jesus, you remember your cross, you remember that another had to carry yours for you.

Thank you, Lord, that we can surrender our burdens to You. We come before you to lay down our lives and every burden before You. Father, no matter the burden we are carrying, we know we can trust that you will not only listen and hear our prayers, but you are faithful and righteous to answer our prayers in a time of need. David in Psalm 3:4 says, he cried out to You, Lord, and You answered him from Your holy mountain.

Sometimes our burdens are heavy and difficult as we lay them at your feet in frustration, other times, we are unable to speak but only utter pleas that have no words, so I pray for courage and strength to be able to lay it all down before you, and walk away knowing that You will handle it as you have promised.

Thank you, Lord, that when we surrender our burdens to You, You always step in to help carry the load, and thank you, Lord, for the spiritual fathers, mothers, and mentors you place in our lives. 

Holy Spirit, we offer up to You everything that is weighing heavily on anyone’s hearts today. We took this physical action of communion as a way to prophesy breakthrough over our lives. We took communion today as a prophetic act, declaring Your freedom and supernatural intervention into every area of our lives. 

Jesus, today we partook of Your body, commanding everything to line up with Heaven, right now, and we WILL see Your Glory revealed. Jesus, we partook of Your blood, celebrating that no area of our lives needs to be in any form of disarray today, because breakthrough is at hand! 

We are a new creation. We are Your greatly loved children. We walk in victory. We are not a victim to any of the schemes of the enemy. We are cleansed by the blood of Jesus. We are covered by the resurrection power of Jesus who sits on the throne at the right hand of the Father. The devil has been defeated; all authority has been stripped from him and returned to Jesus. We live from a place of triumph with Christ. 

Jesus, You gave Your life so that there would be nothing we will ever have to walk through that You can’t handle, and the mighty resurrection power that raised You from death is now always at work in our lives. Thank you Jesus, for Your sacrifice for us. AMEN.

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