jesuscarriescross1Opening Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ,
take me along that holy way
u once took to your death,
Take my mind, my memory,
above all my reluctant heart,
and let me see what once you did
for love of me and all the world.

Scripture Reading:

John 19:16-17

For Reflection:

What do you think about when you see a cross?

My guess it that the things that come to mind for us are markedly different than what registered for Jesus and His friends when the timbers were brought out and assembled.

We see crosses most every day, in lots of different places.  In graveyards.  On church buildings.  In tattoos.  Embedded in band logos.  On necklaces and dangling from earlobes.  On hillsides as we drive down the interstate.

In Jesus’ culture, crosses only reared their heads in one place.

On execution sites.

What do you feel when you see a cross?

Pride?  Gratitude?  Nostalgic sentimentality?

As Jesus shouldered His cross, His friends didn’t feel any of those things.  Instead, that sick heaviness that comes when we see the innocent suffer burrowed deep into their hearts.

passionjesuscarriescrossFollowers of Jesus sometimes sing about a wonderful… beautiful wondrous cross.

And for us it is.

But it took the embrace of a suffering Savior to transform it.

On that day it was simply a blunt instrument.

And Jesus was its target.

Closing Prayer:

I adore you, O Christ,

and I bless you,

because by your holy cross,

you have redeemed the world.