One of the most poignant scenes in the movie Passion of the Christ is when Jesus is handed his cross and he embraces it. Clearly the cross was Jesus’ reason for living a human life.
The cross for Jesus was his instrument for the healing and transformation of human history. Who would ever look for a savior on a cross – an instrument of humiliation, torture and defeat? Why would we look for God in something so painful, tragic and immoral? How can something so awful be the
in human history? But there it is … a total paradox … this way of Christ. high
The cross is the doorway to resurrection. The pain and sorrow of Good Friday lead to the joy of Easter Sunday. Pain and glory all wrapped up in some mysterious and glorious dance; a dance that Jesus invites us to flow into with Him. "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matt 16:24) We are called to be conformed to his death if we are somehow to attain the resurrection ( Phil 3:10-11). The challenge for most of us who call ourselves Christian is to even recognized, much less choose, our crosses; to recognize the cup which we must drink from, the baptism we must be baptized with in order to be bona fide followers of Jesus. (Mark 10:38) Embracing our cross is counter to everything our culture values and all of our natural instincts.
What is your cross? Experience tells me that our crosses transform to our stage of life. We all need to pause before the cross we face each day and ask ourselves – Do I have the courage? Can I conquer the fear? Can I embrace this mystery of suffering and joy – sacrifice and reward?
The goal of the Christian life is
to be wonderfully terrified
and accept the invitation