To appease the Father
To demonstrate Jesus’ love and obedience
As renunciation of the sensual
Sunday is Palm Sunday, the story of the death of Jesus on the cross. I cannot get beyond the question of “Why the Cross?”.
Jesus said many times: “The kingdom of God (heaven) is within.” This suggests to me that the kingdom was present then and is present now. When attempting to teach us of Our Father’s love for us, He told the parable of the prodigal son showing God’s unconditional love, revealed at the time and present before the crucifixion. Can I conclude that atonement was possible? Jesus seems for me to be also appealing to the collective conscious of mankind. Which is in my way of thinking what He is referring to when He addresses Himself as the Son of Man.
In trying to explain the cross and it’s meaning to the apostles shortly before his crucifixion, Jesus says: “Whoever serves me must follow me and where I am, there also will my servant be…I am troubled now yet what should I say, Father save me from this hour? But it’s was for this purpose that I came.” (JN 20 26-27)
With this reasoning I conclude that one of the motives He went to the cross is to provide an example for each of us to follow. As He was given a cross so is each of us given our cross to bear. If you will follow His example you will pick up your cross daily and follow. The way I like to say it, embrace life, all of life, even your cross.
When we avoid or deny the cross we are given we are rejecting an important part of our life and consequently we will not learn all of life’s lessons and experience it’s resurrections.
Historically in trying to understand the cross, people have thrown the idea of sin into the mind-set and the story of redemption. Jesus defeated sin. Sin does not have to be part of the issue in your personal story of redemption. Mistake yes, we all make mistakes. Learn mistake’s lesson, correct them, and move on.
I believe the Hebrew Scriptures equivalent to pick up your cross daily and follow me is: “I put before you life and death, choose life.” (DT 30:19) The life put before you could look like death and paradoxically is life and life more fully which Jesus tells us is one of the lessons He came to earth to teach us.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.