21st Century Cross of Christ

Faces around the crossImagine Jesus was being crucified on this Good Friday, March 29, 2013.  Pretend the same characters gathered at the scene.  Who would you identify and perhaps be or want to be?  Be honest!

None of us would can imagine ourselves as the soldiers who mocked his title, ‘King of the Jews’ and gambled for his possessions, deriding him to his death.  Neither would any of us think of ourselves as the criminal who scoffed at Jesus.  We don’t want to imagine we would be in the crowd of spectators, a member of a mob of voyeurs.  Or would we?

I don’t want to imagine myself as one of the priests, mocking him with words that wondered how he could save others, but not himself.  I have participated in both constructive and not so helpful conversations; weighing and wondering about the person and work of Jesus.  Honesty, requires me to confess, there is a shadow part of this clergy person that could have been drawn in by the trappings of being a priest.Christ on the Cross

Who would I likely be or want to be at the cross of Christ?

Likely Be:

  • His Followers– The text tells us, “they stood at a distance and watched.”  Perplexed and not knowing what to do or say is a familiar position.  This is the most likely place I could be found.
  • The Women-The text tells us they followed to see where Joseph of Arimathea would bury Jesus, and then returned home to prepare what was ritualistically required while faithfully observing the Sabbath.  I can be a loyal soldier.

Like to Be:

  • Joseph of Arimathea-The text tells us he disagreed with the Council and then disobeyed the Torah; burying Jesus’ body after the Sabbath had begun.  Disagreeing and disobeying are traits I have never worn well.  After reading the crucifixion account again on this Good Friday, I want to walk in the shoes of Joseph, the religious rebel, for the sake of the crucified Christ.

Joseph ArematheaGood Friday Prayer-Help me Crucified One follow you with conviction that is not distracted by convention and fear.  What say you, honestly?  You don’t have to write and post it.

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