Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

He Chose the Cross

print Print  |  send Send to a friend  |  bookmark Bookmark  |   |   |  back Back

Many questions start to roll in my mind with the great fast approaching. God's love for us is outside our understanding, many people are puzzled by it, and many could not believe it.

Why a mighty God cares that much? Can He not create much better species that loves and obeys Him? Why He wants to humble Himself to the point to come on earth and be one with us and to die for us?

I wonder why You chose the cross! What is the message behind it? Is great suffering and endurance for others delighting You? Or showing love and obedience no matter what? Or just paying the price required that?

God never failed to explain to us many things through His Holy Bible so that we can understand His purpose in all that is happening and assure us of His love and care for all of us.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

A gift of life is what came to my mind. He created us although He already knows all that will happen. But He also knows the ending, which is a happy one!

God's love is over and above all understanding that is why when you really know Him you cannot help falling in love with Him and counting the days to get to be in His presence.

God knew for the beginning that purity and sin cannot mix, that is why He formed a plan from the beginning in order for us to have a chance to be with Him through eternity. Because God's love is the ultimate love, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had to endure for everyone, the rich and the poor. This is why He came and lived the life of endurance in order to show that everyone can have a chance in God's kingdom.

God could not choose other than His Son to rescue us because He is the one who can love us to the point of dying on the cross. And in order to reach His plan, our Lord Jesus Christ had to come in precise time and generation.

It was the time when the Jews were under the governor of the Roman empire. The Jews had no saying in any political field, all they lived for was the coming Messiah to can rescue them and destroy their enemies. But the Pharisees (High priests) and the elders practiced the Law of Moses in a way that unified and divided the people into different dominations. All aimed to explain the Law to fit their own interpretation.

"The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath" (John 5:15-16).

It was believed that our Lord Jesus Christ came as a prophet to teach them the mind of God. Explaining to them that what had been written all these generations concerning His coming as the Messiah and in order to save their soul, they would have to believe in Him and follow Him to the end.

No one was willing to listen to Him although they saw many signs and messages, except the people that were full of love and open hearts to hear God's messages to them. Instead they looked for faults, did not want to associate with His love for the sinners, and they were waiting to put their hand on Him and kill Him.

Then the moment had come that God appointed from the beginning. Our Lord Jesus Christ submited and as Lamb of God was given as a sacrificial lamb for all. Our Lord Jesus Christ knew the pain and the humiliation that was awaiting Him, yet He accepted all in silence and love for all.

Sadness came over me when I started remembering the pain of the kiss of deceit, the slaps on the face, spitting, Peter's denials of Jesus, many false accusations against Him, the release of Barabbas instead of Him, and the cry out to let Him be crucified!

Until now His body was intact, not been harmed, but His hurt was deep already and in the core of His heart. What else can await a man that is innocent to die for something he was falsely accused of?

"So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him and the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then said, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!' and they struck Him with their hands" (John 19:1-3).

Our Lord Jesus Christ was almost dead before He reached the cross. He never once had the thought of backing up or revealing His power. Instead He chose to pray and ask for everyone to be forgiven.

"And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center" (John 19:17-18).

Great pain goes through my heart thinking, is that because of all what I did and do every day, my ignorance of losing my soul one day for the dust of pleasures and egos on my part. O God what can I do for my weakness. My strength must come from Thee so I can overcome otherwise I will be failing time after time to rich successes.

I look to the cross over my mantel remind me all that happened on the cross but I could not because it was over whelming. Instead I open my Holy Bible reaching for the words in John 19:23-36.

"Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand" (Isaiah 53:10).

The cross that He has chosen was the ultimate endurance and suffering. Our Lord and Savior's life on earth was about doing all that a human beings could not achieve physically, mentally, and spiritually. In order to help us achieve it, the cross and baring the cross was the last of His work, "It is finished!" (John 19:30).

No matter how sad we feel for all the Lord had to endure in order to save us, we are happy and rejoice that He did. Help us remember:

  • His ultimate love for us
  • His ultimate sacrifice for us
  • Love is not just a feeling but works
  • Forgiveness and endurance is the key to God's heart
  • Joy in the midst of tribulation
  • God has a plan for our lives

The burial of our Lord was an indication of His death on the cross and strong evidence of His true resurrection. For without His plan of our salvation, He would not live in our hearts and minds until now and forever.

Lord, please do not let our memory fade away or forget the fact that You endured extreme pain and You died for our sins. Instead keep it alive in us and let our tears be an evidence of that. May the lord give us peace and understanding that we can walk in Your way all the days of our lives.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

print Print  |  send Send to a friend  |  bookmark Bookmark  |   |   |  back Back