From the other side...
"He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed." ~ 1 Peter 2:24
The cross. Although we are still weeks away from Lent, which leads to Good Friday, I am lead today to look upon the cross and consider what the view must have been like for Christ.
It's not often that I consider what Christ must have seen and felt, hanging above the crowd, while encountering the transition from this life to the next.
Like so many of us, I push through this image, stare at the empty cross, and think of the beauty of Easter morning, when lilies embrace the altar, and we lift our voices, sharing that "Christ has risen!"
But, first there was the struggle, the pain, and of course, denial and death.
We say that we can never truly know a person's struggles until we have walked in their shoes. Jesus walked among us, laughed, struggled, rejoiced, got angry, wept, ate, prayed and slept. How much more like us could he have been? But then, he looked down at us as he died.
It's not a pretty thought. I still cannot bring myself to watch movies that center upon the crucifixion. It's not just the brutality of the act, the cruelty of condemnation and death, but the reality that what he witnessed was only a glimpse of what he must see as one who dwells now inside each of us, looking through our eyes, as we see and understand our world to now be.
We are people, who live with the choices we have made, and with the results of the choices of others.
It is both challenging and comforting for me. Somehow I can understand that what I witness, God sees it too. What I experience, God feels it as well. What I think, God knows as well.
There is nothing that we experience that God has not seen as well. Today's scripture reminds me that no matter how difficult life may seem, the hands of the Savior still hold us, even from the arms of a cross that once held Him.
May we find strength through these images and thoughts.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.