...His reward of the cross, the joy in our salvation, far outweighed the shame of it. We find along the way to the cross prophecy, tragedy and triumph. Jn.19.17, “Carrying his own cross he (Jesus) went out.” Prisoners were generally expected to carry their own cross and Jesus was no exception. Much has been said about the cross. Its shape, the type of wood, its size and weight have been debated for millennia. So what do we know of this cross? We know that piece of wood was large enough to hang the Son of God on and heavy enough that the tortured Lamb of God would need help in carrying it. It was sturdy enough that his outstretch arms could spread his love across creation and strong enough to support the shoulders of one who had the weight of sin on his shoulders. This Roman cross was long enough to reach from eternity to eternity to show the power of God and short enough to forgive the thief on the cross. What do we know of the cross? It was real enough that the splinters would dig into his back and symbolic enough that each one of us must carry it. It was like any other cross but different enough to become the greatest symbol in Christianity. That cross was thick enough that the heavy wrought-iron spikes driven through Jesus’ hands would not split it and narrow enough that only a few would understand its meaning. And lastly, it was dark enough to become the instrument of the death of God and bright enough to make the weariest believer joyful. The gospel does not see to detail the dimensions of the cross but focuses instead on he who hung upon it. So this weary, beaten man, this worm that looks like anything but a savior is led to his death. He is forsaken and unrecognizable Jew as he leaves the Praetorium, Pilate’s residence, carrying the instrument of crucifixion on his shoulders...
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Thomas J. McLauchlin
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