Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jesus Carries the Cross

"So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is Golgotha" (John 19:16-17).

All of us know life presents us with many problems. Life gives us many difficulties and sufferings which are often very hard to bear. These crosses come in many ways: death, misfortune, poverty, illness. Sometimes the suffering comes from our own sinfulness and having to face the fact that we have made mistakes and need to seek forgiveness from God and others. This letting go of our selfish selves is not easy and can often involve painful self awareness. Sometimes the cross can come in the form of people who hurt us and whom we find difficult to get on with. Often too suffering comes when someone stands up for the right and faces rejection and derision. The cross will come in many ways for all of us.

Christ’s attitude to the cross is different. He embraces it not because he wants suffering and pain but because through his supreme act of loving sacrifice he will give everything to the Father and ultimately will find resurrection and eternal life. The Christian, in bearing the crosses of life with hope, knows that their real treasure is not in the passing wealth or health of this life but is bound up in the life giving promise of Jesus. It is finding in our helplessness and emptiness that it is the power of God working in us that will truly sustain us and ultimately bring us to eternal joy with him.

“Father, if you are willing remove this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).