Bearing. The seventh word on Jesus' way to the Cross.
Our seventh Lent reflection explores some of the themes that John unpacks in his passion narrative, in John 19:6, 15-17.
As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, ‘Crucify! Crucify!’
But Pilate answered, ‘You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.’
But they shouted, ‘Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!’
‘Shall I crucify your king?’ Pilate asked.
‘We have no king but Caesar,’ the chief priests answered.
Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha).
Details matter. This little section of our journey to the Cross seems to be all about bluster, the violent shouts of a crowd, and the giving in of those in power.
But the journey for Jesus is about to get harder. Golgotha, where he will die, is a hill outside Jerusalem. The walk would have been physically hard on an average warm day in Israel. And the cross he will die on has to be carried there by him. And he’s already been flogged, beaten, judged, condemned, mocked, denied, and more.
All this – and what is yet to come – Jesus endured for us. He bore it for us. We talk sometimes about finding something, perhaps in our life, harder than we can bear. And so Jesus on the way to the Cross offers us encouragement, offers to bear it for us, to hold and carry us, just as he walked that dusty path two thousand years ago, bearing the Cross.
Pray – Today in our Together Prayer diary we are invited to pray for the work at London City Mission's Paget Christian Centre, in King’s Cross. Please pray particularly for the childrens work there, and the possibility for a different journey through life with Jesus that the team offers in a variety of ways to the children from the local community.
Respond – some burdens are obvious, for other people they are bearing more than they can, but not showing it. Check out yesterday's blog post about how one Missionaries work is supporting young people with Mental Health issues.