The Cross, A Sign of Hope
In the very early days of the Church, the Christians had a very hard job trying to convince their neighbours that Jesus was really God who had come to live on the earth.
How could a god allow himself to be taken and crucified by his enemies? The early people knew what a crucifixion was all about. They had seen many criminals crucified and knew what a painful, disgraceful, shameful death it was. No god would allow himself to be treated like that! What sort of religious cranks would follow such a god?
Yet the early Christians did present the cross not as a thing of shame, but as a sign of hope. To them the cross was not the end, not the important part. Yes, Jesus died at the hands of his enemies, but it was what happened a couple of days later that was the important part. Jesus rose to life again. His Father would not allow the injustice and cruelty of the crucifixion to triumph. He was a Father who loved his son and who brought good out of the evil of his son’s death.
In this way, the cross becomes a sign of hope to all of us. This father is “Our Father” who can be trusted to bring good out of evil and injustice for those who believe in his son. So the crucifix becomes for us a sign of love, not shame, a sign of hope that God is caring for us, knows and understand our problems and will in his time and in his way triumph over evil of all kinds.
Let us pray
God our Father, there are times in my life when I am worried, upset and afraid. Sometimes I ask myself, “Is it all true? Is there a God? Why does he allow evil to happen? My Father, help me to trust in your love and care as Jesus did. Help me to see in the crucifix a sign of that love and that care. Amen