In all three of the synoptic gospels Jesus says “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23 RSV).
Why did the crowds and disciples not run screaming when they heard that? Was “take up your cross” a common term in the time of Christ? I thought that crucifiction was considered an abhorant death for Jews, as dying haning from a tree was considered accursed? I am trying to understand if those who say the Bible is not the literal words of Jesus are perhaps correct, or if I am missing something and in fact there is a reason people did not run screaming when they heard this. Or did they?