A Person Of The Cross
On the Wednesday before the Thursday where the bread was broken and the wine sipped, before the Friday when the world collapsed, before the Saturday when the world stayed still, before the Sunday when the world broke through, on that Wednesday, we do not have a record of what Jesus and his disciples did.
I have a feeling that Jesus was regrouping and gathering strength to complete this long arduous journey that had begun with a conversation between a young girl and an angel messenger in the hills outside of Bethlehem.
Wednesday, the day that Jesus may have been resting, praying, gathering himself in preparation of what he knew would take place.
And that is where I find myself in the year 2017. The Wednesday before Easter.
The journey began 6 weeks ago when many had a sooty cross of ashes drawn on their foreheads to remind them of their sinfulness and mortality and their need to repent.
This year I was in need to be reminded, daily, hourly, of my need for Christ in my life, so I added something.
When I saw the crosses drawn on Ash Wednesday, I saw it as a way of proclaiming themselves to be “people of the cross”. They were branding themselves, if only until they washed their face, that they belonged to Jesus.
I inked a cross on the inside of my arm. It isn’t permanent. I have to reapply the ink every few days as it is washed off, and every time I am brought back to my initial thought, “I am a person of the cross”.
I told no one and on one asked me about it.
Lent has been described as a journey to Jerusalem.
As I continue to walk that journey through the 40 days I find myself forgetting still, forgetting the degree of the sacrifice Christ made in the days preceding his crucifixion.
Forgetting that every day of this last week He was leading his disciples, as well as us, His followers, toward the cross.
Jesus was deliberately guiding the 12, and us, to understand the “why” of his last days.
I do not believe they understood, or if they caught a glimpse of where the journey would end, they could not believe that He would submit.
And I discovered that I am truly crucified with Christ, daily crucified.
And as I forget His crucifixion I also forget that I have been raised to resurrection life!
Resurrection life is what should be at the center of my life, but my human frailty keeps me living in the world.
2 Cor 4:8-10 speaks of crumbling when the walls of my little life come tumbling in, hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted, struck down BUT NOT in despair, not abandoned, not destroyed.
The words remind me that I always carry in my body the death of Christ, and in doing so, the life of Christ will be revealed.
I thought that observing Lent meant to give up something in order to create space for Jesus in my ordinary days, but this year I added something, a visual symbol of the death and the resurrection of Christ.
Gal 2:20 says to help me to remember that if I am truly crucified with Christ, I am also raised to resurrection life!
Help me Lord, to never forget that the purpose of crucified life is to walk in the power of Your resurrection with your life revealed in mine.
Amen and amen and amen.