Footsteps of Jesus 02

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Jesus Takes Up His Cross

Luke 10:36-37

As seen by a woman passing by

The parade always passes my door, each year when they crucify the prisoners.

I glanced out, not really wanting to take it all in, feeling compassion for whatever poor devil went by, whatever they had done. This time, my eyes went wide with shock and horror, my face ashen white. It was Jesus, cruel crown of thorns on his head causing blood to run down his face, his bruised and bloody body wracked with pain as he held that weight of the cross to his back. I clutched my baby to my breast and ran outside.

“What has Jesus done to deserve this? The soldiers seemed unaware of who it was they were parading to his death. Did they know of his teaching that told us of God’s love? I wanted to scream at them, but I was frightened for my own life, and for the baby I carried in my arms, so I just walked alongside him for a while, hoping he understood that I just wanted to walk with him, just be with him so that he knew that he wasn’t alone in this crowd of bitterness, hatred and destruction. I couldn’t walk in his shoes, but I could walk alongside. 

As I walked, I just couldn’t take it in. I hold life - this precious baby in my arms, but I shadow him and he holds death. I am close enough to hear his quiet whisper above the noise of the crowd -”Abba!” I remember his prayer to his father, the one he taught his followers. He called God in Heaven his “Abba”. Did his father, his ‘Abba’ God care what was happening to him this day?

There were priests along the roadside, angry and bitter. As I passed one yelled. “You have no business here, next to a criminal!” I cringed, ready to slip away, and then something stiffened my resolve. “Doesn’t the Lord ask us to have compassion for the stranger?” 

Jesus told a story about showing compassion. It was the stranger, the outsider who cared for the man robbed on his way to Jericho—the religious people who taught God’s law, they walked along on the other side of the road. I gave the priest a look that showed I was resolute, and he looked away and left me to walk. I thought of the story Jesus told, how the Samaritan stopped & cared for the man, even paying for his care. I wasn’t able to stop Jesus pain, or bind up his wounds, nor could I get him to a place where he could find healing. I knew that this road was leading to his death. But Jesus was neighbour to me. All I could do is walk with him along the path, and hope that it was enough.

 

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