The Stranger on the Cross

On Good Friday, the spirit of inclusion offered by the message inherent in the Last Supper and Washing of the Feet is slapped in our faces with its truth. (Again, small disclaimer: I’ve researched this stuff or been told it by priests and other religious, forming my views.)

Regardless of what you believe about the truth of events over Easter, there are some things that can’t be denied. Like how Jesus was put to death because (as I mentioned previously) He dared to challenge the status quo by reaching out to all, even and especially those who were considered “untouchable”. That wasn’t all: his message was bread for a hungry crowd, sight for a previously blind one. People listened to him, which meant they, too, challenged the status quo as He did.

So the persecutors tempted one of Jesus’ friends, then manipulated the judge (Pilate) who officiated at Jesus’ show trial. Pilate literally “washed his hands” of the matter due to pressure from the religious leaders…one of the first examples of peer pressure from crowd mentality causing a person to cave in and support the dominant opinion, you could say.

It was hoped that by killing Jesus, they would kill His message. That plan failed, obviously.

Jesus taught that the things that mattered were compassion for each other’s weaknesses, strength to build each other up, a sense of community that was forging and non-judgemental. In a word, love.

Sometimes that vision (or the realisation of it) can be difficult to believe. Especially when our own egos and fears get in the way. I’ve come to realise that Simon Peter represents us in that regard. Jesus trusted in and loved him, though, even through his mistakes. As He trusts in and loves us. The message still resonates, despite how difficult it can be, because of its truth.

Today, Jesus is still present in the outcast people of society. We would do well to remember that in how we treat them. This is true for all of us, especially Christians, in our treatment of those who “don’t fit” our mould or idea of morality (like LGBTI people, or [in the Catholic Church] divorced and unwed parents [especially mothers], for example). Welcoming sounds nicer than holier-than-thou anyway.

One group of outcasts in whom Jesus can be seen are refugees. Below is a video explaining some things about the Syrian situation and refugee crisis. five years is too long. Something to think about during this time….they are the ones on the Cross right now, as borders shut and they are trapped in substandard conditions.The question is – what can we do to help them and other Cross-bearers in today’s society?

That’s what I hear in the story of Cross this year.

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4 thoughts on “The Stranger on the Cross

  1. Hi there! I believe strongly in Jesus and his message, though I hesitate to call myself “Christian” because exactly of what you are talking about–many “Christians” being hesitant to welcome LGBT people or help in other uncomfortable situations. I’m from the USA, so those tensions are an everyday occurrence here. I know many Christians are welcoming of all people, but anyway, that’s just how I’ve chosen to identify. My point is that I really like reading your style of talking about Jesus. Jesus was a radical. He did things most people (including me) are afraid to do, such as feed a homeless person. So I’m excited to read more about Jesus, and peace, and all sorts of other good things, from your perspective 🙂

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    • I hope that makes sense and doesn’t sound like Christians shouldn’t call themselves Christians. Not what I mean. It’s just a personal thing for me. And I think it may have something to do with where I live, though I can’t be sure. Anyway, thanks and looking forward to reading more!

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    • *Blush*. Thanks. I owe a lot to my parish priest and other religiously-trained people (as well as family) who have helped influence my views. Especially as those religiously-trained people know a lot more about it than I do…I just listen and think!

      Liked by 1 person

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