Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mat. 16:24)

The words of Christ should first be taken literally, but we can also look at spiritual meanings to what he proclaimed. He called anyone who desired to (literally) come after him (that is to physically follow his human body on the Earth) to take up a literal cross (that is to take anywhere with themselves a big piece of wood). There are actually people who do this today.

I don’t know whether people in Jesus’ time literally followed him by carrying a cross everywhere they went, but He has commanded us to do so.

To take a cross and move with it may seem the silliest and least efficient way of doing things. For example, if one bears a cross, he cannot cook a meat, earn money for a ministry, or do anything useful.

Yet, we believe that the words of Christ are wise (that they are efficient for a business, be it an earthy business or heavenly business). This looks like the least efficient of all possible variants, but we should believe in the efficiency of the words of Christ.

The reason why Christ wanted us to do this, becomes clearer when we read Matthew For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it. (Mat. 16:25)

This mean that our main purpose is to stop living according to our old way of life. We need not to do good but just to stop doing bad. We should stop doing bad not just in this life, but also in the afterlife. That is the only work we to do is to stop disturb Jesus and let him do his job.

I don’t know whether the literal followers of Jesus complied with his commandment to carry a big piece of wood to keep their hands busy and being able to do nothing.

But now I should tell you what was a secret in times past:

Now we should not do it anymore!

The cross here means “commandments of the Bible”. We should stop living according to the word of gospel, and instead move to living according to the spirit, so that living according to the law will no longer disturb our business.

The “End of Gospel” reveals the next stage of interpretation of Bible, showing us how we can start going without the cross.

Also see this page about our ceasing to be slaves of Christ.