BIBLE READING: Matthew 10
No one who knows the Bible can read this verse without having their mind turn to the crucifixion of Christ. The Roman guards in charge of crucifixion compelled the condemned to carry his own cross. Some have suggested that the part that was carried was only the cross piece to which the hands were attached. The cross may have been different than the way we imagine it looking, like a capital T rather than the common cross we think of. None then less, Jesus bore His cross. The cross was a symbol of suffering, shame, and ultimate death.
In this passage, Jesus says if we don't take up our cross and follow Him is not worthy of Him. The cross represents the burden Jesus' disciples must bear, entailing any sacrifice they must make to be faithful to the Lord. Bearing the cross may even require the giving up of one's own life. This "bearing" is "daily" indicating a continual process (Luke 9:23). Failure to take up one's cross renders him unworthy to be the disciple of the One who bore His cross on the way to Golgotha (John 19:17).
This cross is the same for everyone. Some believe it is a specific burden that each individual Christian must bear (sickness, responsibilities of life, hardships specific to a position in life, etc). But we all must bear the burdens of living the Christian life.