“Carry My Cross” is a powerful song by Third Day, released in 2005 on their album Wherever You Are. It is the perfect song not only for this time of year, but also specifically for this weekend (with both Passover and Resurrection Sunday/Easter celebrations coinciding this week).
It has a unique beginning, starting out with the distinct “crackle” of a vinyl record after the needle is put into place. Initially it has a very slow, somber tone. It builds up instrumentally as the song goes on but appropriately retains the serious tone.
It is sung from the perspective of Jesus in the time leading up to and during the crucifixion.
He begins by reflecting on His time here on earth and how He has been awaiting the completion of His mission – laying down His life for the redemption of the world (John 3:16–18).
As He prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, He recognizes the difficulty of the task ahead of Him and prays to be relieved of it if possible. However, He knows that this is why His Father sent Him, and He chooses to completely surrender to God’s will.
Later [during the crucifixion], He feels alone; He is also being unjustly treated as guilty, though He is innocent. He does not respond with anger, however; instead, He prays for God to forgive His tormentors. Again, He knows that He is fulfilling the purpose for which God has called Him.
The chorus shows Jesus’ firm determination to accomplish His sacrificial mission, in spite of the pain, suffering, and humiliation.
Why does He do it? For love. I believe that statement is two-fold: Jesus endured the cross because of His love for God, His Father, and because of His love for us.
In the bridge, He makes a quiet but firm declaration: “Three more days and I’ll be coming back again.”
Have you ever had to suffer through something that had a definite end point, and you kept telling yourself, “Just 10 more minutes. I just have to endure this for 10 more minutes”? That is what this feels like – Jesus remaining focused on the promise from God that the cross is not the end. He will rise again, victorious, after He has completed His mission.
“Carry My Cross” is a beautiful picture of Jesus’ love for both us and His Father. It succinctly portrays His commitment to complete His calling in spite of horrendous suffering.
I also feel that it does an excellent job of portraying the human side of Jesus. Yes, Jesus is fully God, but He came to earth fully human as well:
For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.
(Colossians 2:9, New Living Translation)
Jesus was fully able to feel emotions and pain just like we are. When I was young, I didn’t realize that. I thought that since Jesus was God, He didn’t really suffer pain.
I’m not sure why I had that impression – I guess as a kid it was just difficult for me to imagine a perfect person suffering. (Apparently I equated “perfect” with “pain-free.”) It wasn’t until I saw part of a dramatization of the crucifixion that I realized that Jesus did indeed suffer for our sake.
I like the fact that the song tries to imagine what might have been going through Jesus’ head (based on what the Scriptures tell us , of course).
On that note, here are a few of the Scriptures upon which “Carry My Cross” is clearly based:
John 12:27; 18–20
Romans 10:9 says that “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (English Standard Version).
Saved from what, you may ask? Many things:
Sin (1 John 1:9 and 1 Peter 2:24)
Sickness (1 Peter 2:24)
Lack (Philippians 4:19)
The devil, who steals, kills, and destroys (John 10:10)
Do you know Jesus? He paid the price for your salvation with His precious blood (1 Peter 1:18–19). He loves you and longs to have a close relationship with you, if you will let Him.
Tonight is the beginning of Passover. For the Jews, Passover is a time to remember when God used the blood of a lamb to deliver the Israelites from death and bondage (Exodus 12).
For Christians and Messianic Jews, it is a time to remember not only how God delivered the Israelites, but also how God delivered us through the blood of Jesus, the precious Lamb of God.
Whether you celebrate it or simply reverence its significance, I pray that you have a Blessed and Happy Passover.
Do you like the song “Carry My Cross”? Do you celebrate Passover, Resurrection Sunday, or both? I’d love to know!
I celebrate Resurrection Day, but I also know how closely it is tied to the Passover celebration, and I enjoy learning more about it.
“Carry My Cross” Download: ChristianBook.com
Wherever You Are Full Album Download: ChristianBook.com
Downloads and/or physical copies may also be available from your favorite online music store, at your local bookstore or thrift shop, or through your favorite online marketplace.
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Again, have a Safe, Blessed, and Happy Passover!
Signing off until next week –
Rocking for Jesus with you!