Before the cross, when Israel was still under the Law, our Lord Jesus Christ told the 12 apostles to carry the cross.
Matthew 16 “24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.”
So then Peter and all the apostles promised to be with Christ even unto death.
Luke 22 ” 33 He said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!” 34 He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will by no means crow today until you deny that you know me three times.”
Mark 14 ” 29 But Peter said to him, “Although all will be offended, yet I will not.” 30 Jesus said to him, “Most certainly I tell you, that you today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he spoke all the more, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” They all said the same thing.”
The disciples promised great things for the LORD but they could not even stay awake with Him while He prayed!!
Matthew 26 “40 He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What, couldn’t you watch with me for one hour?”
But as we know, all the disciples ran away and Peter denied Christ three times.
Matthew 26 ” 56 But all this has happened that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”Then all the disciples left him and fled.”
The truth is that none of us can carry the cross or follow Jesus – because in our flesh we are not righteous at all – But we need Jesus to die for our sins!
At the cross, we see that there was a thief on the cross who did nothing good at all. He did not promise to follow Jesus or do any big works! He was a sinner condemned but then He believed in Christ to be saved by GRACE through faith without any works!
Luke 23 “42 He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 43 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Everyone who believes in Christ without trusting in their works is forgiven ALL sin and given the free gift of His righteousness to go to heaven forever! AMEN.