The Passion week is one of the busiest "work" weeks of the year if you work in a church.
This year serves as no exception for me... but as I have been planning for different services and events for the week, I have found the images of the cross grabbing ahold of my heart in such a profound way that it is actually changing it.
The image stuck in my head is that of Jesus carrying the shame and sins of the whole world on his shoulders in the form of an old, ugly, wooden cross.
The weight is so heavy that he falls, not once, not twice, but three times underneath it. I can almost visibly see the beaten and bloody face of Jesus looking down into the dirt under the cross, feeling helpless, feeling abandoned, knowing death is near. I can see the humanity in his eyes, but his determination to continue bearing his cross, walking the road to the place where they drive nails through his flesh, shows me his divinity.
What pain has he not felt? What sorrow has he never bore?
What kind of love is this?
Blood is poured from the body of Jesus as he is nailed to that wooden cross, it's all I can see. The blood has covered the cross. The blood is pure, it's innocent. The blood is payment for my sins, it has covered them as it's covered the cross. The blood... It's supposed to be mine.
Will I accept this love? For in accepting it, I am saying NO to the empty kind of love I find so easily, taking the wide and simple road.
The way of the cross, the way of love, is a road less travelled... It is harder to do, and it's sometimes harder to accept.
Jesus, I see you. I see you carrying the cross... my cross. Help me respond properly to this.