O sacred Head, now wounded,
With grief and shame weighed down,
Now scornfully surrounded
With thorns, Thine only crown;
– Bernard of Clairvaux
As we continue our series, it is important to keep in mind what we mentioned in the first post: To ponder the death of Jesus is to probe the loving heart of God. It was Jesus himself who connected the two: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16a). This divine giving encompassed the cross.
During the season of Lent, believers around the world give deep thought to the sufferings of Christ. Our purpose in doing so is not to be macabre but to increase our gratitude and enhance our generosity. It’s part of our discipleship. It’s one of the ways we renew our minds.
Believers are especially challenged when we realize that Jesus was tortured by religious people as well as irreligious people. Believers and unbelievers alike totally missed the fact that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor 5:19). Therefore, it is the believer more than anyone else who needs to contemplate the cross and relinquish any self-righteousness in the process. Continue reading