When the Bible says "take up his cross daily," what does that really mean? To kill your sin or to bear Jesus' persecution? To me, "deny himself" and "take up his cross daily" are almost interchangeable. -- Lee W.

Yes, the concepts are very similar. By the cross we crucify our flesh (Romans 6:6, Colossians 3:5), yet crucifixion is also a metaphor for the radically new life, dead to the old self (Galatians 2:20, 5:24, 6:14).

I believe the image of someone carrying his own cross was a shocking one in the first century, when public executions by crucifixion left an indelible imprint in the minds of men, women, and probably even children. So, does Jesus mean we will die literally? Perhaps, though not likely with the added adverb daily. However exactly you interpret these words, the call is radical, shocking, not what we expected.

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