cross to bear

trouble that must be endured
I know that you marriage seems hard, but we all have our crosses to bear.

Whether he was talking about Old Testament figures (such as Jonah) or using imagery from his present day, Jesus used familiar things to help the people learn new ideas.The Jewish people knew about crosses, because crucifixion was the method of capital punishment used by the Romans. When a convicted criminal was sentence to death, he would carry the heavy horizontal beam of his cross to the place of execution, where soldiers would nail him to the cross by his hands and feet, and he would hang there, in view of the public, until he died. Therefore, when Jesus told his disciples that each would have to “bear his cross,” they knew that following him would lead to sacrifice:

Whoever does not carry his own cross [bear his cross] and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27)

To “bear one’s cross,” or “carry one’s cross,” or “take up one’s cross,” means “to accept and deal with the troubles that one has.” Today, the “crosses” to which people refer are often not so demanding, sometimes simply an everyday problem that is frustrating or challenging.

Another image common to Jewish life was that of a millstone, a large, heavy stone used to grind grain into flour. Comparing his followers to little children, Jesus said,

But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck [that a millstone were hanged about his neck] and to be drowned in the open sea. (Matthew 18:6)

Jesus’ millstone represented punishment. Today’s millstone around one’s neck is “a difficult responsibility or burden.”

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