Wednesday, March 27, 2013
By Rev Cathy
“The Cross Made the Difference for Me”
Mark 15; 33-39
Holy Week is the week set aside by the Christian church to remember Jesus’ Passion story. It includes the time of Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem to the time of his resurrection when the disciples see him and recognize as their risen Lord.
Holy Week calls us to reflect on this story of love, hate, death and life and how Jesus endured all the cheering, jeering, insults and encouragement. Central to this story is Jesus the teacher, healer, preacher and Son of God who came to seek those which were lost and to also invite those to fellowship with him as he faced the fulfillment of God’s promise of a Messiah.
Jesus was and is that Messiah whose story was foretold by the prophets. Jesus is the one who came and was blessed in the name of the Lord. He came into the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey with shouts of Hosanna. It was only a few days later that these shouts changed to crucify him. And Roman soldiers did just that- they put him on the cross to die.
The cross was used for crucifixion during those Roman times and was the ultimate form of capital punishment. Not only did the person suffer the pain of nails in hands and feet, but they were hoisted up high over the city for all to see. They also suffered as their breathing became more difficult due to hanging and leaning forward from the surface of the cross. It was awful. And Jesus endured this—for us!
The cross is now empty and for Christians is a symbol of hope beyond this life. It is a sign of the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus died and rose again for our sakes. That is, he died so that he would take on the burden of our wrongdoings. And he rose again so that we might be reconciled and favoured by God. Jesus did all of this because of love.
The cross is a sign of peace- no longer are people crucified because it is such a tortuous way to die. Yet Jesus suffered on the cross so that we might live beyond this earthly life with him. This is also a promise which comes because of the resurrection of Jesus. We who have faith and believe in Christ’s death and resurrection are assured of the gift of eternal life. But we must believe.
Does Jesus’ dying make a difference for you? He suffered for all of us so that we might have life eternal. Does the story of Christ Jesus on the cross make a difference in your life?
Holy God as we remember Jesus on the cross we pray that you would help us to understand what this might mean for us as we strive to be and become faithful followers. Teach us again and show us how much you love us as we look to the cross for hope and peace in our lives. Hear us O God as we pray. Amen.
BLOG QUESTION: Jesus suffers an agonizing death on the cross. He is in pain and hangs waiting to be received by God. Yet He knows that this is part of the reason for his coming to earth- to live, to teach, to die and to rise again How do you respond to hearing Jesus’ story of love shared through his death on the cross? Does his crucifixion make a difference in your life ? How?