Sep 27, 2018
He said: "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up the cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24).
He said more than that: "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple" (Luke 14:27).
Such as the bearing of the cross is a condition for life with God, so also it is a test of seriousness and steadfastness in His way.
The tribulations to which the faithful man is exposed during his life, are a test of the extent of his steadfastness in faith.
Thus the Lord said: "in the world you will have tribulation" (John 16:33).
While He was on his way to the Cross, He permitted that his disciples should encounter the bearing of the cross, so that the extent of their steafastness should appear.
He said: "Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat" (Luke 22:31).
Pope Shenouda III