This blog is meant to be an encouragement to you as you journey through your day. If you have a question about the life of faith, please feel free to email me. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I welcome the conversation.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Not Really Embracing the Cross

As we come down to the last few days before Resurrection Sunday, I come to my annual struggle with the violence of the cross. 

I embrace what Christ did for all of us. 

I embrace the empty tomb.
I embrace the victory over sin and death.

I struggle with the cross.

I know the cross really happened. I know that it mattered. 

I still struggle with the cross.

To me, the cross represents all that sin does. Sin dehumanizes. Sin injures. Sin kills. Sin destroys. Sin silences. And I do not celebrate that. I cry out in agony over that. 

I struggle with the cross.

Throughout human history, people have treated one another exactly the same way people treated Jesus on the cross. People who claim to be followers of Jesus do that - in the name of God. In the name of Jesus.

I truly believe the cross was never meant to be celebrated. It was meant to be a reminder - this is how bad we can treat one another when we forget the love of God. A horrible reminder.

On Palm/Passion Sunday, in our little church, we will take a wooden cross and place it front and center in the sanctuary. In front of the pulpit. It will be the center of attention. It will be a reminder of how bad sin can be, and how much we need Jesus. Because if we don't allow the holiness of God to transform us into people of love and grace, we will treat one another exactly the same way Jesus was treated on the cross.

These words from Bo Sanders help me to think about all this:

"When Jesus takes the bread and cup and forever changes their meaning he is saying 'what they will do to me – don’t you, as my followers, do to anyone else'. When Jesus says 'forgive them, they know not what they do', he is saying that they think they know what (and why) they are doing, but they are wrong. When Jesus says 'it is finished', he is proclaiming the end of this type of scapegoating and violence by those who think they are doing it on God’s behalf."

I recognize that my words here might make you a bit uncomfortable. I'm sorry about that. I just know that the cross is supposed to do just that - make us very, very uncomfortable

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