As most people reading this will know, myself and my family have recently moved to the Republic of Ireland. As most people will also know it is a predominantly Catholic part of the world and almost every house you go into has artwork/sacred heart pictures/Jesus on the cross up, amongst other things. As a Christian not actually part of the Catholic group so to speak, I have had a little problem with the fact that they always put Jesus on the cross. As we all know, who know him, he is in fact, risen, alive, no longer on the cross, thus enabling us to have eternal life with God the father, our relationship with him restored.
However, we now have one up in our home, it was a present from a good friend of ours (who is Catholic) quite some time ago (before Chris and myself got together).
And do you know what I’ve come to realise? It was making me uncomfortable, but not for the right reasons. It’s partly because I don’t often want to think about the suffering that Jesus actually endured prior to and on the cross. I love thinking about the new life he has given us, but not always about what he actually suffered in order to give us this new life. And when I realise what he actually did to save me it gives me such a fresh, perspective on what I mean to him and what you mean to him. He went willingly, I must add as well.
Having had the cross up since yesterday, I actually think it is really beautiful and stop to touch it and just look and marvel. I think as an evangelical I can sometimes get so hung up on “new life” that I can almost forget about the process it took to get it. I can also start thinking and wondering (as many do) about the suffering people endure on this earth. But when you actually look at what Jesus endured, physically, mentally and spiritually, for all of mankind I must add… He suffered and he suffered in the most appalling way…I think we can forget that, or at least I know I can put it to the back of my mind sometimes instead of facing it.